Taking care of an older relative can be difficult. Nobody wants to give up their independence, but there are real safety risks that come with age. Cooking, for example, is already the leading cause of house fires, and the elderly are two and a half times more likely to die in a fire than younger adults. Daily activities become riskier as our bodies slow down, and our reaction time decreases. Luckily, older adults can increase their independence – and safety – by following these tips for their kitchen:
Many seniors face degenerative diseases like dementia as they age. This is particularly dangerous in the kitchen, where constant attention is crucial. There are, however, plenty of devices designed for kitchen safety, including automatic shut-off products for your stove.
Never leave the kitchen if something is frying, grilling, or broiling. If food is roasting, simmering, or baking, make sure not to leave the house. Set an alarm to check the oven regularly.
One of the most important factors in preventing slip and fall injuries is good lighting. Make sure that light switches are within easy reach and consider installing a night light in your kitchen. The easier an obstacle is to see, the less likely an accident will happen.
Unplug counter appliances when not in use. Also be sure to tape down or move cords out of the way. Falls are a common cause of injury for the elderly as bones get weaker with age, so it’s essential to reduce risk early.
Consider buying lightweight pots and pans as heavier kitchen utensils are at greater risk of falling, causing spills, burns, or fires. Keep loose items like towels or curtains away from the stove as well. And again, never leave cooking food unattended. Always have hot pads and cooking mittens nearby when cooking.
Keep the floor clean of loose cloths or rags – these often cause accidents for everyone, young and old alike. If your floor is slippery, consider a non-slip, anti-glare floor cover to stay safe and prevent accidents.
Cabinets and Storage
If you’re a caregiver for an older adult suffering from dementia, consider child-locking cabinets and storing dangerous items out of sight. This includes medication, knives, and flammable items. It’s important for everyone to make sure that important items are within easy reach, possibly with pull-down shelves.
Aging doesn’t have to mean losing independence. As long as good safety practices are followed, senior adults can continue cooking for themselves without risk.
We take our responsibility to provide competent, experienced senior home care seriously. Contact Arista Home Care Solutions today.
You are not alone. We are here to help. Call us at (419) 754-1897 to schedule a free in-home assessment.