Common Kitchen Hazards for the Elderly

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The kitchen can be one of the most dangerous areas of the home, which makes it important to know how to protect your senior loved one. Keep these common kitchen hazards in mind to prevent serious injury. 

Appliance Fires

Seniors with memory loss or dementia may forget to turn off appliances that could start a fire. For those with mild memory loss, visual reminders such as a picture near the exit door of the kitchen can remind them to check. Using appliances with automatic shutoff timers, such as a slow cooker, can also help your loved one prevent a house fire. 

Caring for seniors with dementia can be challenging for family caregivers. Luckily, there is Dementia Care Ashburn families can rely on. Professional dementia caregivers help seniors with dementia stay safe and comfortable at home by preventing wandering, providing cognitive stimulation, and assisting with household chores. 

Unmaintained Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers need to be readily accessible and in working condition. Your loved one needs to be instructed on their proper use and taught how to check the gauge to ensure the canister is still full. Small lightweight fire extinguishers may be more manageable and easier to handle than larger heavyweight models. 

Slippery Floors

Lack of balance, stiff joints, and other health conditions that affect mobility can leave seniors at increased risk for falls. A kitchen is one of the most dangerous areas of the home because water on the floor can lead to a fall-related injury. If your loved one’s kitchen has slippery tile, a nonskid mat in front of the sink and other wet areas can reduce the risk of falls. If possible, replace your loved one’s kitchen flooring with textured linoleum. 

A home caregiver can help your loved one prepare meals and perform other kitchen tasks safely. Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there are professional homecare services seniors can trust and rely on.

Throw Rugs

Throw rugs can also pose a slip and fall danger for your loved one, especially if he or she has failing eyesight or limited mobility. If your loved one still chooses to use throw rugs, he or she should be warned of the hazards and be instructed to pick up his or her feet when walking to reduce the risk of tripping. Kitchen throw rugs should also have nonskid backings on them so they firmly adhere to the floor. 

Hard-to-Reach Shelves

Determined seniors often climb on stools to reach items they need for cooking. Your loved one could strain a muscle from trying to lift a heavy object off a shelf. Make sure to place your loved one’s frequently used items within easy reach, and store the heaviest items at waist level. 

Food Contamination

Families often overlook the serious risk of foodborne illness for seniors who cook alone. Since many seniors prefer to save their leftovers, it’s important to ensure your loved one understands the basics of proper food storage. For instance, make sure food is stored at an appropriate temperature and not kept past the expiration date.

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality Home Care. Ashburn families trust Assisting Hands Home Care to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today to learn more about our customize/memory-care/d care plans.