Cleaning, Caring, and Maintaining a Healthy Environment

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The Importance of a Clean Environment

A clean environment is an important part of life. Clutter, disorder, dirt, and odors are health and safety hazards. They increase the risk of infections, diseases, and accidents that can interfere with daily living.

Responsibilities of the Home

Housekeeping responsibilities include care of the immediate environment—usually the bedroom and the bathroom. The care may call for general cleaning throughout the house. These may include cleaning the kitchen, dusting, vacuuming, and doing the laundry.

Developing a Work Plan

Developing a work plan is important. Your first priority is caring for the patient, so you are not able to spend a lot of time on housekeeping duties. An hour should be enough time to complete routine tasks. Typical responsibilities should include the following:

Bedroom — Clean any bedside commode after every use, if one is in the room.  Make the bed and change all linens daily and when they are soiled.  Wipe down all objects with disinfectant, sweep, mop, or vacuum daily.  And empty wastebasket daily.
Bathroom — Maybe private or shared with other members of the family.  Clean the toilet daily, clean the tub and shower after each use.  In some situations, it may be necessary to clean them before your patient uses them.  Change and launder all bath linen as necessary.  Replace toilet tissue, soap, and facial tissue as needed and empty wastebasket.
Kitchen or family kitchen—Wipe down all surfaces and keep all dishes washed and sink wiped out.  Sweep or vacuum and mop as needed. Clean the refrigerator, and remove and discard trash.
Other areas—Vacuum carpets, dust furniture, water plants, and discard trash.  Follow your work plan, but remember to be flexible. Your patient’s personal physical needs come first, and sometimes you will need to adjust your plan of work.  If your patient has soiled the bed linens, you must change them, even if that is not on your schedule for that day.  Your patient may need a bath, clean clothing, and his or her personal laundry done.  Organize your work, straighten up as you go along.  Once you begin a task, finish what you are doing. Begin with the worst room first.  Both the kitchen and bathroom require careful cleaning.  Everything should be disinfected daily.  Workaround the room until you are finished.  Always work from the cleanest to the dirtiest area.


  • Always wear gloves.
  • Have a cleaning plan.
  • Perform each job correctly from top to bottom (except on walls), clean to dirty.

Workaround the room along the walls, come in the door, turn to the right, and begin cleaning; continue until you are back at the door again.

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Male caregiver changing bed sheets|Cleaning, caring & maintaining a healthy environment 


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