The kitchen is one of the most useful rooms in the home, but seniors may face unique cooking challenges that make accidents and injuries more common. Making the following small changes can help your senior loved one safely use the kitchen.
1. Clean Up the Area Regularly
Clean out the refrigerator on a regular basis, and toss expired foods at least once every six months. To reduce waste, rotate your loved one’s pantry to keep staples organised by date. Placing older products in front allows your loved one to use them first. Try freezing leftovers and perishable items to further cut waste without risking food poisoning.
Certain unhealthy foods can also increase a senior’s risk of developing serious health conditions. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional at-home care. Newcastle, NSW, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
2. Choose Plastic Instead of Glass
Plastic is an alternative to glass for most kitchen items. Opt for plastic tableware, and choose metal pots, pans, and bakeware to eliminate the risk of broken glass. If you must use some glass items, stick with shatter-resistant varieties to keep the kitchen safer for your loved one.
Consider hiring an in-home caregiver if your loved one needs help cooking meals and managing light household chores. In Newcastle, NSW, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your ageing 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 socialise regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
3. Reduce Countertop Clutter
Cluttered countertops increase the risk of broken items and make it harder to find things. Consider getting rid of non-essentials, and store seasonal items to streamline the kitchen. Put essentials in lower cabinets that are within easy reach to prevent falls.
4. Purchase a Grabber
A grabber makes reaching food and cooking supplies easy. Organise supplies so frequently used items are easy to reach and place a grabber nearby to make it easier for your loved one to reach items. Storing lightweight food like bags of dry pasta on higher shelves is an easy way to prevent accidents caused by dropping heavier items.
5. Install Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors are a must for kitchens. Install a smoke detector near the cooking area to reduce fire risks. Add a carbon monoxide detector if your loved one uses gas or propane in the home, and check the batteries on both devices at least once every six months. Connecting fire and carbon monoxide alarms to local emergency services is possible if your loved one has a home security system. Consider this option if your loved one often forgets he or she is cooking.
6. Use Safety Devices
A wide range of safety devices are available for seniors, including those that automatically turn the cooktop off after a specific period. Help your loved one learn how to use the devices properly, or choose devices that work automatically to keep things simple. Add devices like jar openers and kettle tippers to make the kitchen more senior-friendly and reduce the risk of accidents.
7. Make Labels
Labels help seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s find and put things away easily. If possible, use images because they are easier to decode than words. Laminate the signs for an easy wipe-down when necessary.
With some basic devices and organisational changes, your loved one can more safely navigate and use the kitchen. If your ageing 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. Newcastle seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers. Call us at (02) 4089 3000 and create a high-quality in-home care plan for your loved one.