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How to Make the Kitchen Safer for Elderly People

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One of your primary responsibilities as a caregiver is to keep your loved one safe. In addition to the bathroom, kitchens are one of the most dangerous areas in a senior’s home. From slippery floors to a risk for fires, there are many potential issues you must prevent. As you work on increasing safety for your loved one, make sure to add the following strategies to your list for making the kitchen senior-proof.

Add a Nonskid Mat

Kitchen floors can quickly become slippery if liquids spill on the floor. Place a nonskid mat in front of the sink where water is more likely to spill. Encourage your loved one to wear nonskid shoes anytime he or she is working in the kitchen.

If your loved one needs help safely navigating the kitchen and other parts of the home, consider hiring a caregiver. In Oklahoma, home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Move Items to Lower Shelves

Changes in your loved one’s balance and coordination must also be addressed. Help your loved one avoid climbing ladders by placing frequently used items on lower shelves. Moving items to lower shelves also prevents things from falling on your loved one as he or she prepares meals.

Arrange for Meal Preparation Assistance

Seniors with issues such as Parkinson’s disease or arthritis may find it difficult to perform tasks such as chopping vegetables. A professional caregiver can work with your loved one in the kitchen and assist with tasks that pose a risk for cuts. Your loved one can also benefit from having someone come to the home and keep an eye out for things that could cause him or her to get sick, such as expired food in the pantry.

If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Oklahoma seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.

Choose Appliances with Automatic Shut-Off Controls

Forgetfulness is a common trait among seniors, and even older adults with minor memory loss are at risk for starting a house fire. Start by selecting appliances for your loved one’s home that come with automatic shut-off controls. Typically, these appliances are equipped with a timer that turns the unit off after a certain amount of time has passed. For appliances that cannot be switched out, you can also find special shut-off controls that go between the outlet and the appliance.

Watch Out for Cords

Ideally, any appliance with a cord should be used on a countertop so your loved one does not trip over it. However, you may also need to take additional measures to secure cords along walls so your loved one does not accidentally knock an appliance over when working at the counter. Periodically, check cords and prongs to make sure they are not becoming worn since this could create a fire hazard.

Secure Hazardous Chemicals

Seniors with dementia may mistake chemicals for ingredients or accidentally get a caustic cleaner on their skin if a container spills. Make sure to store chemicals such as bleach and drain cleaner in an inaccessible area. If your loved one has severe dementia, you may need to remove chemicals completely or store them in a locked cabinet.

Safety-proofing a senior’s kitchen while managing other caregiving duties can be overwhelming. If you are the primary caregiver for a senior family member and want additional assistance from a professional caregiver, Oklahoma Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our caregivers are available for a few hours a day to help seniors with daily tasks, and we also offer 24-hour live-in care for those who need more extensive assistance. To learn about our revolutionary senior home care plans, call one of our professional Care Managers at 405-285-4191 today.

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