There’s a lot involved in doing the laundry: first, you must gather the dirty clothes, towels and linens, carry the load to the laundry room — or drive to a laundromat, separate colors and whites, load, wash, transfer, dry, fold, iron, and put away (and some would agree that last step may be the hardest one of all).
For seniors living at home, this task may become more challenging as their physical health or cognitive function declines, or when mobility becomes an issue, especially if going to the laundry room requires going upstairs or downstairs.
Non-medical home care may be an option: there are many agencies that provide caregivers who can assist with laundry and other household chores that may become too difficult for seniors to manage alone.
If you are considering assisted living, find out if there is a common area for residents to do their own laundry. Ask for the community’s cost breakdown for laundry services: often, costs will vary based on how much laundry the staff does — clothes only? linens too? — and how frequently. Some assisted living communities may include a certain number of service hours and charge anything over that number a la carte.
Family members may also choose to do a portion of their loved one’s laundry, either on-site in the assisted living community’s laundry room or at home, to save money.