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Top 5 Kitchen Hazards for the Elderly

Cooking can be relaxing and therapeutic for seniors, but some of the activities involved can become more difficult to accomplish with age. Kitchen safety is an essential part of providing home care in Toronto, and you can help protect your senior loved one by eliminating these 5 common kitchen hazards.

1. Inadequate Lighting

Changes in vision are a normal part of aging, and not being able to see clearly could cause your loved one to fall or get cut while preparing food. Make sure each entrance to the kitchen has a working light switch or lamp, and install lighting around the countertops. Motion-activated nightlights can also be effective for ensuring your loved one has a well-lit path to the kitchen should he or she need a drink of water at night.

2. Inaccessible Cabinets

Counter to ceiling cabinets may be ideal for adding storage space, but seniors who attempt to reach objects at the top could easily be injured. Store frequently used dishes and utensils on shelves that are easy to access. If your loved one must reach the higher shelves, make sure he or she has a sturdy footstool with arms on the sides.

3. Countertop Appliances

Appliances like slow cookers and toaster ovens can make cooking a breeze for seniors. However, too much clutter on the countertops can lead to accidents. Make sure electrical appliance cords are kept away from the floor and sink areas. Additionally, your loved one should choose appliances with an automatic shutoff option to reduce the risk of fires.

4. Slippery Surfaces

Wet floors in the kitchen can be just as dangerous as they are in the bathroom. Your loved one should be discouraged from walking on wet tile if something spills. Instead, your loved one should try to stand in the driest area while he or she cleans the spill up. Nonskid mats and textured tile can also reduce the slipperiness of floor surfaces.

5. Flammable Products

Many house fires are started when a flammable liquid or object comes in contact with a heat source. Your loved one should move cleaning products and aerosol cans out of the kitchen and into a room without heat sources. It is also important for your loved one to avoid leaving cardboard packaging and other flammable objects near burners.

Maintaining a safe kitchen can make it easier for your loved one to prepare healthy meals every day. If your loved one needs help with this task, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of Alzheimer’s, post-stroke, and Parkinson’s care in Toronto, and our caregivers can help keep your loved one safe in the kitchen and other parts of the home by taking care of meal preparation and assisting with various other tasks. For more information, call one of our friendly Care Managers at (416) 488-8777 today.