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Senior House Cleaning Service – The Right One!

June 28, 2017

Do you want to know more about choosing a senior maid service Chicago? Seniors need more help than anyone when it comes to keeping the house clean and tidy. Since mobility becomes more limited with age, it is harder for seniors to reach high places to dust or get down low to clean floors and appliances. However, not just any commercial cleaning services chicago will do. The senior population has unique needs and considerations that must be taken very seriously by family caregivers and their maid services.

1. The Unique Needs of Senior Citizens

Senior citizens are more vulnerable to theft since they are less likely to be able to notice or prevent such actions. They need to have absolute trust and confidence in their maids to ensure that they are not taken advantage of. Seniors are also more sensitive to strong chemicals often used for cleaning, which can impair breathing and is toxic to the environment. This is why Fresh Tech Maid service Chicago uses chemical-free, deionized water cleaning solutions in our homes. Communicating with seniors can also be difficult due to hearing loss or dementia. A company needs to be patient and gentle and not get frustrated when faced with communication issues. Professionals are also in a unique position in that they have the opportunity to frequently observe the health and condition of the seniors who live in the homes they are cleaning. These observations can be extremely valuable to both the seniors and to their family members who want to ensure that seniors are receiving the best possible care. Seniors need house cleaners who care about them and treat them like family, and are willing to coordinate effectively with family members.

2. Family Members Need Help

Have you heard of the “sandwich” generation? These are people who are caring for both their own children, as well as aging parents. Though this situation is not uncommon, it is a very stressful position for someone to try to manage all alone. Caring for children is difficult enough, without the added stress of attending to elderly parents who are often sick. The sandwich generation needs a support network in place to ensure they have time to recharge and not become overly stressed. A cleaning company is a vital piece of this support structure, as this is one of the most time-consuming and important chores on the list. When the home is in good shape, everything seems in good shape. However, cleaning the home can often be pushed to a lower priority when getting the kids to school on time, taking parents to doctor’s appointments, and having a career seem more important. Having a trusted company take over this duty not only frees up time for the family caregiver, it also facilitates a healthier environment for everyone. An organized home is an organized life, and a clean home is a healthy home!

3. A Trusted Professional Can Help Relieve Stress

The bottom line is that employing a reliable company to aid senior citizens is well worth it. It saves time for those in the “sandwich” generation so that they can devote themselves to other important aspects of their life, like their careers, their children, and caring for their parents. Time is money, and your time is a lot more valuable than what you pay for a maid company. Most importantly, you are ensuring that the seniors in your life are receiving the best possible care by living in a healthy and secure environment. Hiring a service can be truly life altering for senior citizens, as it relieves them of the stressful burden that has become more difficult for their bodies. Who knows, you may even receive the admiration of your friends for all of your thoughtfulness in helping your aging parents!

4. Choosing the Right Service

Now comes the hard part. Which senior house cleaning service do you choose? It can be difficult to find the right company for your family. However, there are several steps you can take to ensure that you find the best possible fit.

  • Research: The first thing you can do is to research online ratings and reviews of local companies and maid services. The most reputable review sites include cleaning services Chicago Yelp, Google, BBB Reviews, Facebook, and Best Pick Reports. You want to make sure that the company has at least four out of five stars overall, and you definitely want to read the reviews that customers have written. Negative reviews do not necessarily mean you should say no to a company, but make sure to pay attention to the areas of weakness described by negative reviews. Avoid any company whose areas of negativity are related to dishonesty, poor communications, and a lack of follow-up.
  • Communicate and Evaluate: Once you find a company that looks promising from its reviews, you will want to call the company and see if they conduct themselves professionally over the phone. There are several aspects that can indicate professional service. Firstly, do you get a real person on the phone or just an automated notice? If you do get an automated notice, how long do you have to wait until a real person returns your call? If it is more than one business day, then this is not the service for you. You want a company that makes potential customers a priority.

When you do speak with a representative, how do they talk to you and treat you? Are they patient? Do they listen? You do not want to hire someone who is rude to you over the phone. Do they answer “no” to most of your requests? This is also a bad sign, as you want a service that will be accommodating to your family’s unique needs.

  • Cost: Absolutely do not choose the cheapest maid company you can find! Even if money is tight! They are cheap for a reason. Inexpensive rates in this industry usually indicates that employees are poorly screened, lack sufficient training, are not friendly, are often untrustworthy, and their work is of poor quality. It is better to spend a little extra on a service and know that you are getting reliable and caring employees.

Here are some additional questions that you can ask before hiring a service for the elderly people in your life… How much do you charge? Is it per room? Are there additional charges to clean certain items around the house? Pro Tip: Resist the urge to select your cleaning service based on price alone. Often a cheap service is a red flag that the cleaning may be under par. Some businesses also charge extra for certain tasks such as laundry, changing the bed sheets, and wiping the baseboards.    How do you hire your employees? Pro Tip: A background check should be the very minimum. What you want to know is how this company screens an applicant’s honesty, integrity, client service, and appreciation of feedback (positive and negative). There should be a sophisticated process in place including an attitude survey, multiple interviews, references, and an application process that is time consuming enough to weed out applicants who are not serious about the work. Will the same person come every time to clean my parents’ home? Pro Tip: We know that most of our clients prefer the same person each time, but that guarantee may not be possible due to time off, vacation days, sick days and the high turnover rate of the industry.  A trusted business will tell you the truth. Hire the trustworthy company, not the company that tells you what you want to hear. This is especially crucial when it comes to choosing the right cleaning service for seniors. Are the cleaners employees of the company or independent contractors? Pro Tip: You want the senior house cleaning service to provide its own employees, not independent contractors. Then you can be assured that if an employee suffers an injury on the job, then it is taken care of by the business.  Will my parents be liable for an employee injury on the job when cleaning their home, or does the company provide workers compensation and business liability insurancePro Tip: Without worker’s compensation, you are putting your own financial future at risk because the homeowner would be liable for any injury that occurs within the home. Business liability insurance can help to cover the costs of an accident, giving you peace of mind. Does your company provide supplies in addition to the proper equipment? Pro Tip: A good home business should provide most of the supplies, with the exception of heavy and hard to carry items such as a vacuum, ladder, and toilet brush. Honestly, most customers prefer it this way, because it is always safer to use your own supplies to avoid cross-contamination.  If I am unhappy with the service, how do you handle feedback? Pro Tip: A reputable business will ask for customer feedback and will want to make sure that the job is being done to the customer’s satisfaction. And, if it’s not, the business should ask what can be done to make the client happy. It’s important to verify that the cleaning service takes your feedback into account and can quickly make changes based on your recommendation. Do you require someone to be home during the cleaning? Pro Tip: This is an especially important question when senior citizens are involved. A good business should accept whatever situation is convenient for you. If the service comes when you are not home, they should provide timely updates via a note or text. How long have you been in business? Pro Tip: The number of years that a senior house cleaning service has been in business is important, but shouldn’t be the determining factor. There are some businesses that are new on the market, but have excellent reviews. Consider what customers have to say and not just the number of years in business. Will you provide me with a list of references? Pro Tip: There are excellent online review sites that provide valuable references for any business. Yelp, Google, and BBB are just a few. If there are limited online reviews, then a list of references becomes vital. In addition to cleaning, does your company provide any other services for seniors? Pro Tip: Most senior home services stick to the task of cleaning. Although there are others, like Fresh Tech Maids, that will help with grocery shopping and other tasks that seniors might need assistance with. This is a fair question, and one that should be asked if you feel that your elderly parents may need support with other tasks and/or chores.   Do you communicate directly with my elderly parents regarding scheduled times, supplies needed, etc., or would I be involved? Pro Tip: Hiring a maid for seniors can be challenging, so it’s best to work with a company that wants to communicate with a family member. Sometimes seniors can be forgetful, and may not remember a scheduled cleaning time, so having a family member involved helps ensure that everything flows smoothly.

5. What kind of staff does the senior house cleaning service provide you?

The person a company provides you with is everything. An important consideration that many people don’t know about is to check with the company to learn whether their cleaners are employees or independent contractors. You will want to avoid the latter as contractors are often poorly trained. If a company does not bother to hire its own employees and train them well, that is probably one you want to skip over. You will also want to check out the company’s employee hiring process. This is the most vital process for all maid companies. Background and drug testing is usually required, but you want a business that goes beyond the basics and screens applicants for friendly, trustworthy personalities as well. Another thing to look for is whether a company requires its employees to be certified. The top certification in this industry is the IICRC Certified House Cleaning Service.

6. Verify That the Service is Trustworthy

Hopefully, the above guidelines will be enough to help you find a kind and trustworthy company. However, you can’t really know that you are finding the right person until they show up and you get to know them. It is essential to verify if a business’s performance is in line with your expectations. There are several ways you can do this, both before and after your cleaner visits your home for the first time. A good way to check the reliability of a company is to leave feedback. They should respond to you no matter what, but especially if you have a complaint about your current cleaner. Does the company address your concerns quickly and take action to remedy the situation? Do they reflect and learn from the problem to ensure that it never happens again? If not, then it is hard to imagine that this service really cares about your family’s well-being and will work with you to customize and optimize your service plan. Another way to verify the trustworthiness of your cleaner is to “test” them in certain ways. This may seem unnecessary, but when it comes to vulnerable senior citizens you need to be sure in your heart and mind that your loved ones are not being taken advantage of. A good way to do this is to leave small amounts of cash or inexpensive jewelry lying around when they come to clean, and see if they handle these items with respect and the highest level of trustworthiness. If you are really concerned about how your cleaner behaves around your house and elderly parents, you could install cameras in your home to monitor their behavior for a short time. You could also come home at unexpected times to try to catch them off-guard. However, you should cease this behavior once you are certain that your cleaner is taking good care of your parents and their home. Your house cleaner really appreciates the trust you give them. But, trust must be earned. Hence, it is important to monitor house cleaners to see if they are indeed trustworthy.

7. Ensuring That Your Service is the Right Fit for Your Family

This has been mentioned above, but it is so important that we will say it again. The best way to make sure that you have found the right business for your aging parents is if they patiently and accurately listen to what you need from them. If they do not listen to your needs, then it will be impossible for them to customize and create the plan that you want. You want to work with a business that is willing to do everything they can to help you. Yes, this probably means that they are going to be more expensive than the cheapest option, but the value that they can bring to your home is so worth it! The second piece of this is accountability. Does the business actually follow through on what they said they would do? Promises are all well and good, but execution is everything. If the cleaning is not up to par, does the company accept your negative feedback and turn it into action? If this is not the case, then it is time to move on to a company that will.

8. Help the Right Cleaning Service Help You and Others!

A great cleaning service is hard to find, so if you are lucky enough to find your perfect fit, make sure you support the company! Provide as much constructive feedback as you can at the beginning of the service so the company can customize your plan to the best of their ability. Recognize good performance with compliments, tips, and in-person praise. It means so much to cleaners when they receive a good review! If you really love the business you have found, refer them to friends and family, and most importantly, write online reviews. This is a highly valuable resource for any business. Finding the right business is always important, but even more so when you are searching for one to care for the homes of aging loved ones. Senior citizens have unique limitations due to age, and so they need extra special care and attention from those who will be tending to their home. Hiring a maid business for seniors can be life-changing, as it ensures they are living in a clean and safe environment as well as taking some weight off the shoulders of “sandwiched” caretakers. We hope that this guide will help you find the perfect addition to your senior care team! Also, check out our spring cleaning fun with the family here!