Rethinking Environmental Wellness: The Benefits of Cleaning and Caring for Your Senior Living Environment

August 14, 2023

Environmental wellness is one of the 7 Dimensions of Wellness that contribute to the overall health and well-being of older adults. This dimension of wellness has to do with how our environment affects us — physically, emotionally, mentally, and socially. Cleaning and taking care of our surroundings is an effective way to improve our environmental wellness.

Older adults, more than any other age group, can gain many benefits from maintaining a clean and well-cared for living space. While some older adults in senior care may not be able to participate, many can -and will- clean! Regular cleaning habits get hardwired into our brains and for many seniors. From physical health to mental clarity, the advantages of keeping your senior living environment pristine are profound. 

  1. Improved physical health

A clean living environment has a direct impact on physical health. Dust, mold, and other allergens can worsen respiratory issues such as asthma and allergies. By regularly cleaning and tidying up their space, older adults can reduce the presence of these triggers, leading to fewer health complications. Moreover, a clutter-free environment minimizes the risk of falls, a common concern among seniors. Removing obstacles and maintaining organized spaces reduces the chances of accidents, ensuring safety and physical well-being.

  1. Enhanced mental clarity

A clean and organized living space does not only improve physical health. It also enhances mental clarity. The chaos of clutter can lead to feelings of stress and anxiety. On the other hand, a tidy space provides a sense of order and calmness that can greatly improve our overall mental state. When their living environment is clutter-free, older adults can focus on what truly matters: enjoying their hobbies, connecting with loved ones, and pursuing activities that bring them joy. 

  1. Increased social connection

A well-kept living space is inviting and comfortable, making it an ideal setting for socializing. When our environment is clean and organized, we are more likely to welcome friends and family into our home, fostering a sense of connection and reducing feelings of isolation. Inviting loved ones over to help clean or decorate can be an enjoyable bonding experience for older adults that enhances their relationships. 

  1. Independence and self-esteem

Taking care of their own living space can help empower older adults to maintain a sense of independence and self-esteem. As we age, it’s natural to rely on others for certain tasks, but being able to care for one’s immediate surroundings provides a sense of accomplishment and autonomy. When older adults see their efforts reflected in a clean, well-organized space, they’re reminded of their own capabilities and the value they bring to their own lives.

  1. Peaceful and relaxing atmosphere 

Older adults deserve a peaceful and relaxing environment where they can unwind and enjoy their retirement years. A clutter-free and clean space contributes to a serene atmosphere, helping older adults to find comfort within their senior living community, just as they would at their previous homes.

The physical, emotional, mental, and social benefits of maintaining a clean and organized living space can truly enrich the retirement years of older adults. By investing time and effort into their environment, older adults are investing in their overall well-being and quality of life. So, embrace the joy of tidying up and relish in the many rewards it brings! For inspiration on how you can promote environmental wellness in your senior living community, check out our environmental wellness activity ideas!

Katie Stewart

Katie is a member of Welbi’s Customer Experience team! She has a background in communications and recreation and is passionate about older adults, exercise, coffee and people.

Holly Mathias

Holly is a member of Welbi’s Marketing team! She has a background in communications and marketing, and is a compassionate individual who loves team work, story telling, and wellness.

Wendy Riopelle

Wendy is a student in the Honours BA in English program at the University of Ottawa, where she has won numerous awards for her writing.

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