Cooking Dangers for Seniors Aging in Place
As your loved one has gotten older, you might be noticing that she’s avoiding the kitchen a bit more, even if she once loved to cook and prepare meals. While there are plenty of reasons why your loved one may be slowing down in this area, one of those reasons may be that she doesn’t feel safe in the kitchen anymore. This is not illogical reasoning. There are plenty of danger zones in the kitchen that your parent may not be able to safely navigate anymore. Here are a few of them and how senior home care can help seniors stay safe in the kitchen.
While recipes are not dangerous, following a recipe is important and for those seniors who are perhaps at the beginning stages of dementia, they may find themselves unable to follow a recipe anymore. While most times it’ll just end up in some poorly made food, not preparing food properly can result in a foodborne illness or some severe stomach upset. Having a senior home care help your parent follow a recipe might be a great way to eliminate this danger.
If your parent has cabinets that are higher up than she can reach, trying to get that heavy mixing bowl from the top shelf could be a real danger. To help reduce this hazard, it might be time to rearrange the cabinets so that all of the items your parent would want are in easy reach. While a step stool can help as well, it can also produce another hazard of a misstep.
If your elderly loved one is wanting to use a mixer that’s out of her reach, senior home care can get it down and ready for her to use.
The stove has always been a dangerous place but with less stability and even with depth perception issues, it can become even more dangerous for your senior. Bending down to pull a heavy casserole dish out of a hot stove may cause your parent to fall or stumble into the hot stove. Or she may drop the dish once it’s out, breaking the dish and/or stove door.
Forgetfulness can lead to many kitchen accidents and while it can happen to anyone, seniors often struggle with remembering little things that can harm them in the kitchen. Your aging parent may forget to turn off a burner which may burn her when she puts her hand too close, or if she forgets it for hours after leaving the kitchen, could generate enough heat to start a fire.
She may also forget how hot a pan may be and burn her hands when reaching for it by not using oven mitts or a towel.
Finally, she may forget about a meal she’s placed in the oven to cook. While the hope is it just ends up being an over-cooked meal, leaving something in the oven for hours longer than it should be might ruin the oven and even cause a fire.
The good news is that senior home care can help your parent safely navigate the kitchen and take over many of the tasks she can no longer do. Be proactive and look at which parents your aging loved one needs help with today.