An alarming reality in 21st century is the number of older women and men who live in extremely dirty conditions that arguably render their homes unhealthy and sometimes even unhabitable. The reality is that a filthy home can impact an older relative’s life in a significant manner. A filthy residence has the potential to literally shorten an older relative’s life. This has the potential to occur for a number of reasons and in a number of ways that include:
- Enhanced chance of physical injury
- Presence of dangerous biohazards
- Inability to use essential elements of a residence
- Growing isolation
- Mental and emotional impact
Enhanced Chance of Physical Injury
A primary component of what is being called a filthy house for the purposes of this article is clutter. An elderly person’s cluttered home has a tendency to become increasingly cluttered as time goes on. Indeed, clutter can accumulate and become more significant in what really is a short amount of time.
In a filthy and generally cluttered house, the odds that an elderly person will trip and fall grows significantly. An elderly person can take a fall in his or her home and sustain serious injuries. This is compounded by the fact that an elderly person who lives alone and is injured because of clutter in the premises may not be discovered for a period of time after the accident. This type of scenario can result in deadly consequences.
Presence of Dangerous Biohazards
Another way in which a filthy home can shorten a relative’s life is found in the fact that a biohazardous situation can develop in the residence. For example, if the filth in a home includes rotting food – and it probably does – that can constitute a hazard that can impact a resident’s health.
Other types of biohazards can accumulate in an unkept or filthy home that have the very real potential of jeopardizing an older relative’s health and even threatening that person’s life. Another example is the fact that a filthy, cluttered home provides a literal breeding ground for rodents. Rodents and their droppings carry a number of different and potentially serious disease-causing pathogens.
Inability to Use Essential Elements of a Residence
A filthy home typically results in certain elements of the property becoming no longer useful. An example can be found in major kitchen appliances. Over time, the failure to clean the refrigerator (or even remove items from it) will result in that appliance not being useful to the resident. This impacts an elderly person’s ability to keep healthy food at home. The lack of regular access to nutritious food items impacts a person’s overall health. It can have the impact of shortening a person’s life at least to some degree. Similarly, eventually an oven and stove that are not property cleaned become unsafe and even unusable. An improperly maintained oven and stove not only can cause that appliance to be generally unavailable, but can present a very real fire hazard at the residence.
A filthy home typically results in an elderly individual becoming evermore isolated. The lack of human interaction can have a seriously negative impact on an older relative. Research demonstrates that the isolation of an elderly person negatively affects his or her emotional, mental, and physical health.
Older individuals who interact with others regularly are healthier overall. They have been shown to live longer lives. The opposite is the case with individuals who are more isolated, including being isolated as a result of the unclean state of their home.
Mental and Emotional Impact
In very simple terms, we all feel better about ourselves and our lives when our living spaces are relatively clean and comfortable. Our homes need not be spotless, but rather livable.
When an elderly relative lives in a filthy house, that type of situation can have a significant impact on that individual’s mental and emotional health. Depression and anxiety are examples of mental health conditions that can occur when an older individual lives in an unclean house. These two mental health conditions (as well as others) have the very real potential of impacting an older person’s overall health. Depression and anxiety, if persistent, have a documented potential of shortening a person’s life.
In some instances, a filthy home persists because no one really knows how to start to get it back into a clean, healthy condition. For this reason, if you have a relative burdened by a filthy residence, a wise decision is engaging the services of a residential cleaning professional, like the team at Eco Bear. Eco Bear cleaning specialists can restore a home to a fully livable and health condition. This includes the elimination of any biohazards that may exists in the residence as a result of the filthy conditions that prevail at the property.