Kitchen safety requires some additional planning as adults enter the senior years. While your aging loved one may have been cooking for years, new changes in his or her health may require you to make some changes to the kitchen. Here are a few ways to make the kitchen a safer place for your loved one.
Minimize the Risk of Falls
Similar to bathrooms, kitchens are wet zones that require taking steps to reduce the risk of falls. Begin by making sure a nonskid mat is located near the sink and other areas where spills are likely to occur. Then, provide your loved one with plenty of kitchen towels to clean up spills promptly. If your loved one uses a mobility device, make sure there is enough space to use it in the kitchen to maintain balance.
Seniors who need help preparing nutritious meals in their own kitchens should consider professional in-home care. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Anchorage seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
Reduce the Temptation to Climb Ladders
High shelves expand the storage options in a kitchen. However, they can quickly turn into a major risk for seniors who could lose their balance if they try to climb on a ladder. Help your loved one move frequently used items down to lower shelves that can be reached easily. Then, arrange for someone to visit once or twice a week to see if your loved one needs anything else moved to a lower location so he or she is not tempted to climb.
Choose Appliances with an Automatic Shutoff Feature
The memory loss that accompanies aging could cause your loved one to forget to turn off kitchen appliances when finished cooking. As you install new appliances, look for ones that come with automatic shutoff features. You can also find special outlet plugs that turn off major appliances after a specific amount of time to reduce the risk of a kitchen fire. For appliances with no automatic shutoff, your loved one can use a timer that reminds him or her to check the controls.
Purchase Ergonomic Utensils
Seniors with mobility challenges such as tremors or weakness in the wrists and hands may have difficulty preparing food. Uncontrollable movements contribute to an increased risk of lacerations during meal prep. Give your loved one utensils designed to fit his or her abilities. For example, rocker knives make it easier to cut up food. As your loved one’s health condition progresses, consider arranging for a caregiver to help with meal preparation each day.
In Anchorage, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
Check the Lighting
Your loved one should be able to see easily around the kitchen. Make sure there is a light switch at each entrance to the kitchen area. If not, consider installing motion activated lights you can simply plug into the outlets so your loved one always has a clear path. Under cabinet lights can also make it easier to see while preparing ingredients for meals.
From preparing nutritious meals to washing the dishes, older adults may need help with an array of tasks. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elderly care. Anchorage Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. To create a customized in-home care plan for your loved one, give us a call at (907) 770-0907 today.