Too Old to Clean? Every house cleaner and maid at some point in their career ages and becomes too old to clean. Today on Ask a House Cleaner we look at what the homeowner can do when their maid is elderly and ineffective. “Can I fire my old maid without recourse from age discrimination?” Homeowners want to know how to deal with housecleaners who are over the hill, getting on in years, and flat out too old to clean.
If your housekeeper is feeble, geriatric, ancient or tired, these easy tips will help you help them move on.
Listen: Too Old To Clean – Should I Fire My Cleaning Lady?
Watch: Too Old To Clean – Should I Fire My Cleaning Lady?
Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.
Today’s Question: Should I Fire My Long Time House Cleaner Who is Too Old To Clean?
Now, today’s question comes from a homeowner who has had the same cleaning lady for twelve, thirteen years.
And the woman who has been cleaning her house is, of course, twelve or thirteen years older than she was before.
So, she’s getting on in years. And she’s not as thorough as she once was. She does not move as fast as she once did. And her work is slipping a little bit.
And the homeowner wants to replace her and find somebody new, but she’s hesitant to do that because she knows that she’s probably the only source or one of the only sources of income for this woman.
So, what does she do?
Answer: All House Cleaners, Housekeepers, and Maids Get Old
I hate this question because it’s tough.
It’s tough to find yourself in this situation either as the house cleaner when you know you’re getting too old to do the job correctly. Or as the homeowner who has to make that choice that it’s time to let the housekeeper go.
That is just a tough situation for everyone involved.
But the answer is, you may be the only source of income, but it’s not your responsibility to be her only source of income.
There may be another set of skills that she has that she would be better suited for.
Are There Broken Boundaries and Unmet Obligations?
Is there something as a homeowner that you did, that made her feel indebted to you as a family? (Did you pay for her kid’s college education or her recent surgeries?)
Have you made her a part of your family? And now she feels like she can’t leave?
There are a lot of people, that I promise after twelve or thirteen years they don’t want to stay on as house cleaners.
Does she have another set of skills that you could encourage her to go pursue?
Because if you can encourage her to pursue other interests, that frees you up from the guilt you’re feeling. And you can go hire a house cleaner that would be better suited for you.
But if you’ve decided that you have to let her go, then that’s what you have to do.
If so, do it quickly, so that it’s not something that you drag out and dread.
Give her a heads up, and just say “Hey, listen, I’m going to move in a different direction with my house cleaning. I’m wondering if you have something you would like to pursue that might be more fun for you at this point in life or whatever?” And let her go on her way.
Can You Reassign Her To Some Different Tasks?
If you feel, for some reason, that you must employ her, do you have another set of something that she could do?
Are you at a point in your life where maybe you would like someone to cook your meals for you?
That would be a whole different set of skills, that she probably has, right?
And she could probably cook your meals for you, or do your grocery shopping. Or run your errands, or pick up your dry cleaning. Or some of those other tasks that instead of cleaning your house, she might be better suited for something else like that.
So, there might be something you could do that would still employ her, that would not keep her house cleaning on a day to day basis.
But if you’re to a point where you are decided that she’s not doing a good enough job and that she has slowed down enough, it’s probably time to move on.
Because every time she comes back, you’re going to start to resent her coming back.
And we don’t want that. She’s been a lifetime friend for twelve or thirteen years.
Help Her Move On Before Resentments of Old Age Set In
Help her move on to another job or help her move on to another someone else.
And if you’re not the person to employ her, you might know somebody who is.
And so, I would ask her, “Hey, Listen, I’m thinking about getting a different house cleaner, nothing personal, other than I just feel like we’ve been doing this for a long period of time, and you’re probably ready for a break. So, is there something you would like to do? Because I know a lot of people, I could recommend to hire you so you can do something that you love.”
And it might blow your mind.
She might say “I’m actually fantastic at designing websites.”
What? Go design websites.
You know what I mean? She might have some skills that you have no idea she has.
Your House Cleaner Might Want to Spend More Time With Their Family
She might have Grandkids. She might want to be spending the time somewhere else.
So, you have to have a conversation.
I don’t like that you’re in this situation, I don’t wish it on anybody. But it is a fact of life.
All house cleaners get old at some point. They do. And not all house cleaners should still be in the game.
I know some really old house cleaners. And some of them are really spry and you would never know how old they are.
It’s spooky how old some house cleaners are. And because they are so fit and fantastic, it’s not an issue.
But there are some that are just really worn out, and they need to go design websites.
#5 Rules for Firing Old Maids and House Cleaners
- Be as kind as possible but make it swift.
- And if you can find a way for them to still work for you, reassign them new chores.
- If you don’t have more work for them, find somebody to recommend to them that does.
- And if not, maybe there’s something they would rather pursue, that they can find on their own.
- Give them advance notice so they can make plans to move on.
Alright, so that’s my tip for the day. If you found it helpful, please leave us a comment in the section below.
Let us know your take on it.
If you agree, if you disagree, if you have a different approach, let us know.
I’m open to suggestions and I love reading your comments.
So, until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.
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SAVVY CLEANER – House Cleaner Training and Certification – https://savvycleaner.com
HOUSECLEANING360 – Referral database of the world’s most prominent home service providers and the homeowners they serve. https://housecleaning360.com