One of the most dangerous rooms in the home is the kitchen, and for a senior it can be doubly so. Cooking accidents are the major reason for fire related accidents to seniors. So, if you have a senior who is living alone or even has a home care companion for part of the day, it can be worrisome. What are some preventive measures you can take to make sure your loved one is safe in the kitchen then?
Appliances that make life easier and safer
Some appliances have shut offs which are automatic after a period of time. These appliances range from kettles, irons, electric frying pans and toaster ovens that have this special feature built in. You can also have a device installed which will automatically turn off the stove and oven after not being attended to in an allotted amount of time. The products can be on the expensive side, but they give peace of mind.
Sometimes just having the right pots and pans are a big help too since seniors with arthritis, a general muscle decline or Parkinson’s have difficulty lifting heavy pots and pans. This can lead to disastrous accidents waiting to happen especially if pots used are full of boiling water. There are cooking products for people who have difficulty using their hands though which have two handles. This allows the person using them to have more maneuverability and more stability. Other utensils which are helpful for seniors who have trouble with their grip are specialized kitchenware which allows the senior to eat with one hand. There are also kitchen utensils which have larger handles for a firmer grip. And there are L-shaped knives for easier cutting.
Just having some preventive measures in place will give you peace of mind. For instance, long loose flowing sleeves can catch fire if your loved one is too close to a burner. Replace those clothes with these then with clothes with short or tight fitting sleeves to avoid the possible problem. Keep surfaces free from clutter so there isn’t a problem where to set something down when removing it from the stove too. Make sure all cooking surfaces and appliance hoods are grease free also. A grease build up can start a fire easily.
Finally, make sure there is a charged fire extinguisher in the kitchen as well as a working smoke detector. And change the batteries in the smoke detector yearly and teach your loved one how to use the fire extinguisher properly. If you are worried he or she won’t remember how to use it, tape the instructions on the fire extinguisher itself.
You don’t have to deprive your senior of the joy of cooking just because he or she isn’t as mobile as before. By using some precautions and common sense; therefore, you can still enjoy your Mom’s famous apple pie.