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Elderly Care Considerations: How Often Should You Change Your Parents’ Sheets?

Elderly Care in Upper Manhattan, NY

Doing your aging loved ones’ laundry and making sure that they have clean clothing and linens may be a basic part of your elderly care routine with them, but there is some debate about just how often this task should be on your to-do list. This is particularly true for linens. Your senior parents sleep in them every night, but how often do you really need to change them out for a fresh set and wash the used ones? Does this need change with the seasons? And how often should you be washing the other elements of their bedding, including their comforter and pillows?

Knowing how often you should wash your parents’ bedding is an important part of keeping their home clean, comfortable, and healthy, and streamlining your elderly care routine so that it is effective and efficient.

One important thing to keep in mind is that washing your parents’ bedding too often can actually have negative effects for them. Putting them through the wash and dry cycle too many times is damaging to their fibers and can create stretched out or thinned sheets and increase the chances of them getting holes and tears.

Some things that you should keep in mind about changing and washing your parents’ sheets include:

  • Every other week. If the weather is cool and your parents bathe before getting into bed at night, you only need to wash their sheets every two weeks.
  • Every week. If the weather is warmer, your parents do not bathe right before bed, your parents can have a tendency to sweat during the night, or they may have particularly oily skin or hair, it is better to toss those sheets into the wash once a week. Sheets absorb the oil, sweat, and germs that come off of their bodies so you want to be able to get these off before they build up too much.
  • With the seasons. Your parents’ comforter and pillows do not need to be washed as frequently as their sheets, and washing them too often will lead to them breaking down much more quickly. Unless there are stains, spills, or other issues, you only need to send these pieces of bedding into the wash three or four times each year. It is a good idea to wash them with the change of the seasons so you remember the timing and can get a fresh start on the new time of year.
  • Pretreat. Check out your parents’ sheets, particularly their pillowcases, for stains such as makeup residue or spots from body creams and ointments. If you find any of these, pretreat them before washing to make sure that you get these out of the fabric, protecting both the look of the sheets and the integrity of the fibers.
  • Leave them alone. Do not be tempted to throw your parents’ linens in with their towels and light-colored clothing. Linens need plenty of room to move around in the washer, so stick to just their sheets to make sure they have all the space they need to wiggle around in the water.
  • Heat it up. While you do not need to put your parents’ sheets through the harshness of the heavy duty cycle unless there is very serious soiling, you should go for the hottest water possible. This will kill the most germs and can keep them whiter. Remember that most clothing actually responds best to cold water and the colder the water, the longer the fibers last, but when it comes to sheets, you want to give them a hot wash to get them the cleanest.

If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Manhattan, NY, call Griswold Home Care and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (212) 845-9854