Though kitchens are particularly dangerous for seniors with dementia and limited mobility, they can even 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 an elderly loved one’s kitchen while managing other caregiving duties can be difficult. If you are the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality non-medical home care, Toronto 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 will shut off after a period of disuse. This action is particularly important if your loved one has dementia, but it is 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 colors and patterns that look nice without being hazardous.
4. Install Anti-Slip Floor Grips
Most kitchen floors tend to be made from hard, easy-to-clean materials, but they can get very slippery if something in the kitchen spills. Apply gripping stickers to the kitchen flooring to ensure your loved one will not 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. Professional in-home care experts can assist seniors with an array of daily tasks, which lowers their likelihood of tripping and falling. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Toronto Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks.
5. Upgrade the Refrigerator
Refrigerators with a side-by-side freezer and fridge compartment are much easier for seniors to access. Get a well-lit fridge so your loved one does not accidentally grab the wrong item. Make sure there is 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 hot water levels to keep it at a temperature where scalding is not a risk. 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 are cooking, do not 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 will not 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. Get in touch with Home Care Assistance to find out how a Toronto, ON, caregiver can help your aging loved one live a longer, healthier, and happier life. Our caregivers are available 24/7, all of our senior care services come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts. For details about our premier home care services, give us a call at (416) 488-8777 today.