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 from burns and falls. As you prepare your loved one’s Caledon elder care plan, 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.

Slippery Floors

Lack of balance, stiff joints, and other health conditions that affect mobility can leave seniors at an increased risk for falls. Kitchens are one of the most common areas of the home where 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.

Hard-to-Reach Shelves

Determined seniors often climb on high ladders to reach the items they need for cooking. Your loved one can strain a muscle from trying to lift a heavy object out of 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 is important to ensure your loved one understands the basics of proper food storage. For instance, make sure your loved one’s food is stored at an appropriate temperature and not kept past the expiration date. Caregivers in Caledon can also help seniors avoid foodborne illness by helping with meal preparation and grocery shopping.

To learn about additional strategies that can keep your loved one safe while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are available around the clock and on an hourly basis, and we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and stroke care Caledon seniors can count on. For more information on our in-home care services, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at 905-951-8885 to request a complimentary consultation.