The kitchen is one of the most dangerous parts of the house for older adults. There are all kinds of sharp instruments they can cut themselves on, not to mention the hazard posed by a slippery tile or linoleum floor. If you worry about your aging relative hurting themselves while trying to cook a meal or clean the kitchen, there are many things elder care providers can do that will prevent them from getting injured in the kitchen. Below are just 5 of them.
#1: Prevent Cooking Fires
Cooking fires are a common accident that occur in the kitchen. In fact, two out of five house fires start in the kitchen. One out of three of them are a result of leaving foods unattended while they are cooking. Half are started by fat or grease. An older adult, especially one with cognitive issues, may be more at risk for a kitchen fire starting and may not know what to do when one does. Seniors may also forget to turn off stove burners or the oven, which could start a fire. Elder care providers can ensure older adults follow safety rules when using the stove or oven. They can also assist if a cooking fire should occur.
#2: Cut Foods
Sharp knives can slip and cause a cut—sometimes a serious one. That can be especially true for a senior who has lost some hand dexterity. If they lack hand strength, they may hold knives in an unsafe manner in attempt to leverage some of their body weight to get through tough foods. Elder care providers can take care of the cutting and chopping, so that older adults can continue to cook their own meals without fear of cutting themselves.
#3: Clean Up Spills
It’s not uncommon for something to spill on the floor during cooking. A pot of water might slosh over or a casserole drips on the floor. While it’s best to clean up spills as soon as that happens, that can be hard when hands are full. Then, they can be forgotten. It can also be hard for a senior to bend down to clean something off the floor. Stepping in a puddle on a smooth floor can cause seniors to slip and fall. An elder care provider can make sure spills are wiped up immediately.
#4: Prevent Burns
Cooking means plenty of hot dishes, pans, and surfaces that an older adult could burn themselves on. Getting a heavy casserole dish or roasting pan out of the oven could be a problem for seniors who have lost some strength. They may drop the hot food, burning themselves. Elder care providers can do the heavy lifting in the kitchen, preventing things from getting dropped and causing a burn.
#5: Do the Cooking
If your aging relative cannot cook for themselves or they just don’t enjoy cooking, an elder care provider can do all the cooking, so they don’t have to. Not only does this prevent accidents in the kitchen, it also ensures your family member always has a healthy meal to eat.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Bordentown, NJ, please call the caring staff at Care Street Home Care. You can reach our Mercer/Burlington Division at (609) 496-5666.
Dr. Shelly, as he is fondly known, has served as an Alzheimer’s Support Group Facilitator in Mercer County and is a Certified Dementia Instructor. Knowledgeable, compassionate, and unusually devoted, his guidance is crucial in helping families understand their options and render decisions for their loved ones’ care plan. Dr. Shelly’s extensive experience, sincere and pleasant demeanor, and professional affiliations have made him a vital asset to Care Street.
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