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Kitchen Safety Tips for the Elderly

By Debbie Waddell, 10:30 am on

Though you want to encourage your elderly loved one to spend some time in the kitchen so he or she can prepare some healthy meals and snacks and remain independent, it’s also important he or she stays safe while doing so. A kitchen can pose many risks for a senior, and the Granite Bay 24-hour care experts at Home Care Assistance have some tips to help protect your loved one from these dangers.

Avoid Using Throw Rugs 

Throw rugs can 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.

Quickly Mop Up Spills

Spills should be quickly mopped up to prevent accidents in the kitchen. If the spill is water, simply drying the area is likely sufficient. However, oily or greasy spills need to be properly cleaned with a degreasing agent so the floor is free from any slick spots.

Don’t Wear Baggy Sleeves

Cooking over an open flame when wearing long baggy sleeves poses a fire hazard. Your loved one should wear clothing that will not accidentally come into contact with the heat sources on his or her stove. Though burns and clothing fires can still occur with electric cooktops, they are much more likely to occur with gas stoves.

Keep Fire Extinguishers in Working Condition 

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 for your loved one to handle than larger, heavyweight models.

Check Food Expiration Dates

Consuming foods beyond their expiration dates can lead to foodborne illnesses. Your loved one should be reminded to check expiration dates on the foods in his or her refrigerator and pantry before eating them. Professionals and family members providing in-home care in Granite Bay, Folsom, and Placer County should be aware your loved one may be more susceptible to food poisoning because of preexisting medical conditions, weakened immune function, or prescription medications that impair healthy gastrointestinal flora.

Your loved one’s safety is a top concern at Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of stroke, Parkinson’s, and dementia care in Granite Bay, and our caregivers can help your loved one with many tasks in and outside of the kitchen, including mobility assistance, cooking, light housekeeping, and grocery shopping. For more information and to request a complimentary consultation with one of our experienced Care Managers, call 916.226.3737 today.

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