Long-reach cleaning tools: What products will help me clean the house, despite my limited mobility?

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What products will help me clean the house, despite my limited mobility?

Question

I have a bad back injury and am finding it difficult to keep the house clean because I cannot bend down to scrub, sweep or dust. My inability to clean the house has made me embarrassed to have my friends and family over. Do you know of any long-reach cleaning tools or supplies that can help people who have limited mobility, clean?

Our answer

A severe back injury can greatly affect the activities of daily living, including a person’s ability to do housework. With that being said, there are a number of household cleaning products and devices that are specially designed to help reduce the effort involved in everyday cleaning. Below are direct links to some examples of products you may wish to explore:

For sweeping:

  • Rubbermaid Lobby Pro Upright Dust Pan (at Walmart Canada) eliminates the need to bend down to pick up the dustpan when sweeping. This product, which does not come with a broom, costs about $30 (Cdn), plus a shipping fee. 
  • Casabella Easy Upright Sweep Set (at amazon.ca) comes with both an upright dustpan and broom and eliminates the need to bend down when sweeping. This product, which offers an ergonomic soft grip handle, costs about $45 (Cdn), plus a shipping fee. 

For dusting and scrubbing:

  • Swiffer Dusters Extender Starter Kit (at Canadian Tire) includes one extendable handle, which extends up to three feet, and two 360-degree unscented dusters. This product, which costs about $10 to $15 (Cdn), plus a shipping fee, can also be purchased at a number of other Canadian online retailers, including London Drugs and Walmart Canada
  • Long Handled Cleaning Sponge, by Drive MedicalLong Handled Cleaning Sponge by Drive Medical (at Healthcare Solutions) can be used for everyday household chores and for personal bathing. This product, which comes with a 30-inch handle and a sponge mounted on an angle, is designed to relieve the need to overextend while cleaning. The Long Handled Cleaning Sponge costs about $10 to $20 (Cdn), plus a shipping fee.
  • High Reach Cleaning Kit (at amazon.ca) contains all of the necessary items required for a basic clean. Each kit includes a 10-foot handle and a variety of attachments, including a sponge/squeegee head, a static duster and a cloth mop head. This product costs about $50 (Cdn). 

It's also important to ensure that you're using proper posture while performing any cleaning chores. For example, make sure that you bend at the knees rather than the waist when stooping or reaching down, avoid twisting or awkward postures, especially if you're holding anything heavy, and take frequent breaks. An article published by the Cleveland Clinic provides more information on posture guidelines for sitting, standing, lifting, squatting and reaching with lower back pain

 

Some technologies and devices may require an in-person assessment. Speak with your health care provider for additional information and support. 

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