Growing up is difficult, growing old is even harder. Decreased mobility and body function affects many elderly people in the UK, but studies show that loneliness is the number one problem. 3.6 million people in the UK live alone, and 2 million of those are over 75. It might surprise you to know that loneliness can be as harmful to your health as smoking 15 cigarettes per day, so spending time with elderly relatives should be right at the top of our to do lists.

But life – children, sports practices, school plays, work and our busy social schedules – get in the way. There are simply not enough hours in the day to spend as much time with our seniors as they deserve. So what can we do to maximise the amount of meaningful time we spend with those in our lives who are getting on a bit?

The key is prioritising your time. No one can do everything, so it’s important to decide what you really need to do yourself and what you can outsource.

When elderly relatives can’t do a lot of practical things for themselves anymore, it’s easy to let the hours be chewed up by helping to keep their homes up to scratch. But of all the things we can give the people we care about, the most important one is facetime. A lift and some support during their doctor’s appointments, playtime with grandkids – it’s easy to underestimate the effect a quick smile and cup of tea can have on a person’s day, but it can be a complete game changer.

A common source of family tension when the elderly start to need a bit of help is that everyone has their own way of keeping their home in order – the refrain ‘that’s not how I used to do it’ is probably familiar to many. What better way to combat this than to bring in a professional? Everyone involved will be happier with the results, and you’ll all be a lot more relaxed once chores are taken care of.

One of the benefits of using a bespoke cleaning service like Poppies is that we offer a regular and tailored service, where the same cleaner visits week after week. This means we get to know the client (and their preferences) inside out and can provide a uniquely personalised domestic cleaning experience. They can also be a welcome source of company on mad days when you just can’t get over there.

A cleaner could be the answer to the excessive demands on your time. After all, why waste precious minutes doing the ironing when you can be having valuable one to one family time? 

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