Living with Chronic Pain
Cleaning Tips and Assistive Cleaning Tools for Individuals With Chronic Pain
Maintaining a clean home is not an easy task, especially for individuals with chronic pain. Fortunately, some cleaning tips and assistive tools can help make the chore a bit easier.
- Using paper plates, cups and utensils can make cleanup after a meal virtually effortless.
- Using aluminum foil, parchment paper and slow cooker bags to line pots and pans eliminates the need for scrubbing.
- Using pre-moistened cleaning wipes for counters and tables saves on laundry.
- Sitting on a stool when washing dishes minimizes back strain and prevents fatigue.
- When washing dishes, opening the doors to the cabinet below the sink and placing one foot inside allows an individual to slightly squat in order to reach into deep sinks while keeping the back upright.
- Using a long-handled disposable toilet wand minimizes bending.
- Using pre-moistened cleaning wipes makes cleaning bathroom counters and tubs/showers more convenient.
- Allowing cleaning solutions to do the work saves on labor. Applying cleaning solution and giving it time to work before scrubbing makes the task easier.
- Using a long-handed mop to clean the bathtub or shower eliminates the need to bend or kneel.
- Using a self-propelled robot vacuum saves the pain and fatigue that can be caused by pushing a vacuum cleaner.
- Dusting with cleaning tools that have telescopic handles to reach as high as the ceiling fan and as low as chair legs minimizes the need to bend and reach.
- When vacuuming, stepping forward with one foot and bending slightly at the knee while maintaining straight posture reduces back strain.
- Wearing an old pair of gloves or socks for dusting ensures that the hands do not need to grip a rag.
- Using a rolling laundry cart helps get loads to and from the laundry area.
- Picking up items off the floor with a reacher or grabber tool minimizes bending.
- A “golfer’s reach” also helps individuals pick up items off the floor. A “golfer’s reach” involves picking up items with one hand while slightly lifting the opposite foot off the ground for balance.
- Refreshing bedding and pillows in a dryer with fabric softener sheets saves on washing.
- Folding laundry while sitting at a table helps avoid standing fatigue.
- Pacing oneself, taking frequent breaks and focusing on heavily trafficked areas conserves energy.
- Cleaning messes when they are fresh makes future cleaning easier.
- Equipping oneself with the proper cleaning tools is important. Purchasing easy-to-use products, such as microfiber cloths and pre-moistened wipes, makes cleaning easier.
- Storing cleaning supplies throughout the home prevents extra trips up and down stairs.
- Planning ahead and organizing a schedule balances easy and strenuous tasks.
- Allotting the time needed to complete tasks reduces stress.
- Organizing work areas so the bulk of activity happens at waist height and close to the body minimizes bending and stretching.
- Sliding instead of lifting heavy objects helps prevent injury.
- If lifting is required, individuals should avoid bending or twisting the back.
Finally, prioritizing important tasks and learning to delegate to others whenever possible is important. Saving energy for the most essential cleaning tasks is a good idea, and knowing activity tolerance can be helpful when planning the best time to tackle big cleaning jobs. Pacing oneself is essential; everything does not have to be done in one day.