Guest Blog

Helpful House Cleaning Tools for People with Disabilities

by Carol Bell

My grandmother has always loved to clean- I think I get that obsession from her. So you can imagine what a devastating blow it was for her when she found herself in a wheelchair as a result of severe arthritis. I tried my best to help her with the cleaning, but she just could not bear not being able to clean her own house and having to wait until someone has the time to help out with the cleaning. I then decided to do research on house cleaning tools for the disabled and have since been able to make it possible for her to get a number of cleaning tasks done. I will now share with you some of the tools that we have been able to purchase and some that I think can be used by disabled people. 

Electric wheelchair - The electric wheelchair may not actually do any cleaning but it is very important for mobility. In the case of my grandma who has arthritis, she could not push herself around on a manual chair so the electric one was essential and it aids with mobility as she goes about doing different tasks. I believe that even for people who are not confined to wheelchairs, an electric one is still necessary if they have trouble being on their feet for long. It can help them get more things done without having to stand for long. 

Cordless stick vacuum - Cordless vacuums reduce the inconvenience of having to drag around a cord which at times you may trip over or may get entangled in the wheelchair. They also can replace a broom and dustpan so for small messes that need an immediate cleanup, these vacuums come in handy. The stick vacuums are also a lot lighter, hence for a person with arthritis, they are easier to use. They can also be transformed into handheld vacuums to clean above ground areas. If however, the disability makes it close to impossible to vacuum, then a robot vacuum may be the best option. 

Grabber tool - If you have a disability that makes it hard or impossible to bend, this is a tool that can help a great deal as you clean. If there are things on the floor which need to be picked up and put away, this grabber will be your go-to tool. You can use it as you prepare to vacuum the floor. Socks, toys, magazines and anything else you may need to pick up will be within reach. It is also possible to use it just to get something that may be a bit far say a bottle of disinfectant that is far from arms reach. My grandmother always has her grabber on the wheelchair whenever she is cleaning and it always comes in handy. 

Dehumidifier - This is not so much a cleaning tool as it is a preventive tool. You may want to reduce the amount of cleaning you have to do since it is not an easy task so having a dehumidifier would be a wise choice. The dehumidifier will help to reduce moisture in the room which in turn will decrease the number of bacteria as well as the growing of mold so you will not have to clean up so often. It comes in handier when you keep it in the bathroom as that is one of the favorite spots for mold to grow. It will also help things to dry quicker.

Steam Mop - It is certainly impossible to get down on your hands and knees to scrub the floor as this takes up too much energy, for that reason a steam mop would be appropriate. Less energy is required to get the floor looking clean and the best part is the steam also kills bacteria and germs. I actually would recommend this not just for disabled people but even able-bodied ones because the results are quite impressive and it takes a fraction of the time you would spend using an ordinary mop. It is however important that you find the right steam mop which is easy to use. 

Cleaning trolley - Things with wheels are always going to be an advantage when you are disabled. A cleaning trolley gives you the ability to move around with just about everything you need for cleaning and you do not have to carry the weight of all those things. You can also carry the laundry basket on the same trolley so even if you are on a wheelchair, one hand can push the trolley while the other drives the chair. Alternatively you can have an expert modify the chair and trolley so that the wheelchair pulls the trolley

These tools are mainly for disabled people who have full or partial use of their hands. My grandmother has been using these for quite some time now and she seems to be able to carry out a good portion of the cleaning tasks around the home.

--Carol Bell has a passion for all things neat, clean and organized.  When she is not maintaining her home, she manages Vacuum Koo, a resource website on vacuuming.