Though kitchens are particularly dangerous for seniors with dementia and limited mobility, they can also pose safety concerns for healthy seniors. Use the following tips to make the kitchen safer for your aging loved one.
1. Change the Way You Store Things
Many kitchen accidents happen while a senior is trying to reach something placed on a high or low shelf. If possible, add pull-down and pull-out shelves to make the kitchen more accessible. If you cannot install new cabinetry, you can make the kitchen safer by storing everything in the middle shelves and drawers instead of very high or low places.
Safety-proofing a senior’s kitchen while managing other caregiving duties can be difficult. If you’re the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality senior home care, Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
2. Install Timers on Appliances
Put timers on the stove and oven to ensure they’ll shut off after a period of disuse. This action is particularly important if your loved one has dementia, but it’s also useful for seniors with age-related memory loss.
3. Use Plastic Instead of Glass
Reduce the risk of your loved one cutting him or herself on broken glass by replacing glass and ceramic items in the kitchen. Plastic plates, cups, bowls, and dishes come in many pleasant colours and patterns that look nice without being hazardous.
4. Install Anti-Slip Floor Grips
Most kitchen floors tend to be made of hard, easy-to-clean materials, but they can get very slippery if something is spilled on them. Apply gripping stickers to the kitchen flooring to ensure your loved one won’t slip if he or she walks into the kitchen without realizing the floor is damp.
Hiring a professional caregiver is another way to reduce your loved one’s risk of falls. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Mississauga respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities.
5. Upgrade the Refrigerator
Refrigerators with side-by-side freezer and fridge compartments are much easier for seniors to access. Get a well-lit fridge so your loved one doesn’t accidentally grab the wrong item. Make sure there’s plenty of door storage so your loved one can easily access food.
6. Modify the Sink
Kitchen sinks are typically designed to use extremely hot water for scrubbing off grease. Adjust the temperature on the water heater to reduce the risk of scalding. Help your loved one control the temperature and pressure of water in the kitchen sink by installing a lever handle for the faucet. If your loved one has arthritis or other hand mobility issues, these types of handles should be easier to operate than knob handles.
7. Store Sharp Items Carefully
Be mindful of where sharp items are placed in the kitchen. While you’re cooking, don’t leave the handle of a knife sticking out over the counter. Knives should be stored far back from the edge of the counter so your loved one won’t accidentally knock them over. If your loved one has dementia, you may need to place the knives in a lockable drawer.
Consider hiring a professional caregiver to help your loved one prepare meals. In Mississauga, in-home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call us today at 905-337-1200 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.