There’s no need for saying that the kitchen is one of the most dangerous areas in the house. From sharp objects like knives and scissors to exposure to fire when cooking, there are many hazardous elements that can put not only your loved ones but also everyone else at harm. Considering that many elderly live with a health condition such as loss of vision and physical immobility or dementia, it is even more vital to make sure that the kitchen environment is safe and secure for loved ones at all times. As such, here are some kitchen safety tips for the elderly in order to protect them from falls, injuries, and other disastrous circumstances.
Modify the Kitchen
To make the kitchen a safer place for loved ones, you can safety-proof the kitchen in a number of ways. Some features that will lower the risk of injuries include incorporating countertops with rounded edges, installing anti-slip tiles, and placing more lights around the kitchen, especially near the sink and countertops where your loved ones tend to prepare their food. If it’s possible, the kitchen should be located near the windows in order to receive sufficient natural lighting, which helps individuals with vision loss, in particular. All these features play a significant role in ensuring that meal preparation can go as smoothly as possible and prevent loved ones from getting hurt. You can also consider installing knobs and handles, as well as overhead and under-cabinets for maximum storage. If they are wheelchair-bound, simply make sure the cabinets are within easy reach.
Perform Checks Regularly
This goes especially for loved ones with dementia and other forms of memory loss-related conditions. If you do not live with them, do make sure you or a caregiver perform routine checks every once in a while to ensure that the living environment continues to be conducive and safe for them. The kitchen should be clutter-free, and if you notice any objects are within near distance to fire and other potentially hazardous objects, do organize the items and clean the workspace. For many individuals with dementia, they can have the tendency to forget about expired foods, so do help them by ensuring all foods are fresh and not about to reach their expiry date. You can also request an electrician and someone from a gas company to check for electricity and gas, respectively.
Invest in Safety Products
You can make sure that your loved ones continue to be safe and sound even without the company of yourself and caregivers by investing in safety products. For example, turn to unbreakable utensils and kitchenware, such as those made from plastic, in order to prevent potential breakage. You should also place a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, just in case a fire breaks out, and purchase pots and pans with handles on both sides for easier handling. While all these products may seem small and insignificant, they actually help to provide ease of mind for the elderly.