What is Light Housekeeping?

Light housekeeping tasksThis term is used when describing one of the types of services provided by home care companies, like Home Sweet Home Care. You often see it in a list similar to a list like this showing you what types of services the company offers:

  • light housekeeping
  • laundry and changing linens
  • errands
  • medication reminders
  • incidental transportation
  • home organization assistance
  • bathing
  • dressing
  • transferring
  • shopping (groceries, clothes, gifts)
  • gift wrapping
  • meal preparation and cleanup
  • monitoring bathing safety
  • supervise dressing and grooming
  • activities to encourage exercise of the body and mind
  • incontinence care
  • assistance with eating
  • mobility

The types of services provided by home care companies depends upon their licensing, but it is the term light housekeeping that is often misunderstood. Most of the misunderstanding comes from the fact that we typically do not define housekeeping in our own homes in degrees of light, medium or heavy. We tend to lump dusting the furniture in with washing the windows, and consider both of these tasks in the category of housekeeping.

Light housekeeping, on the other hand, should be thought more in terms of tasks completed by a personal attendant. The duties included in light housekeeping are those that maintain an orderly living space that allows the person being cared for to exist in a clean environment with peace of mind that daily tasks are completed for them.

eldery care is focus of caregiversOn a daily basis, this means that along with meal preparation, our client can count on the fact that the dishes required for their meal will be cleared away, washed and put back in the cupboard. They can count on their bath being drawn and towels set out for their use. They can also count on the fact that after their bath that towels and wash clothes will be hung up to dry or put in the laundry. They can also take comfort in the fact that the bathroom will be cleaned after they have used it, including the sinks, shower/tub, toilet, countertop and mirrors.

Light housekeeping includes things like watering the plants, dusting of surfaces and knickknacks, as well as picking up newspapers, magazines and other clutter. It also includes emptying the trash, vacuuming and sweeping of main walk areas. It can also include organizing drawers, shelves and closets. In a nutshell light housekeeping is completing the specific tasks required to tidy up areas that a client uses.

light housekeeping is not maid serviceExamples of what a light housekeeping service does not include are heavy-duty cleaning tasks that require moving heavy furniture, washing windows, cleaning carpets, or scrubbing floors. Nor does it cover outside chores, such as shoveling snow off sidewalks, raking, or mowing the grass.

Light housekeeping, as part of a homecare service, is offered and restricted to the client and those areas used by the client. Typically that means the kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom. It should not be confused as a housekeeping service as light housekeeping is only one part of an overall care service provided to an elderly or disabled adult to make their lives safer and more pleasant. Additionally, state regulations require that caregivers spend 80% of their time in direct interaction with the person they are caring for and not on tasks that fall under the category of housekeeping. To learn more, please read What is In-home Elder Care?  If you are in need of full housekeeping services, you may call Home Sweet Home Care Inc. at 757-356-0342 and we will provide you with referrals to housekeeping services.