Welcome back to the Griswold Blog, where we’re talking about kithen safety for your elderly loved one. Here are 9.5 tips to hazard-proof the kitchen:
1. Throw Out the Rugs — Throw rugs are a major fall hazard for the elderly and are known to result in permanent disabilities. Remove area rugs from the kitchen floor.
2. Cut the Cords — Dangling cords are another trip-and-fall hazard, so make sure all electrical cords are covered or tacked down.
2.5 — Not-so-shocking Extra! Place socket covers over the electrical sockets thataren’t in use. Not only does this prevent shock, but it also provides energy efficientthermal seal insulation.
3. Extinguish the Flammables — Store all flammable liquids, like lighter fluid, in a safe location out of the kitchen, and preferably, out of the house. Check under your loved one’s kitchen sink for other combustible compounds.
4. Chuck the Junk — The dreaded ‘junk drawer’ is an extra-hotspot for hazardous items like matches, erasers and plastic that an elderly person with Alzheimer’s or dementia may mistakenly consume. Even if your loved one doesn’t have a cognitive disorder, clearing out the junk drawer is definitely a good idea.
5. Dispose the Disposal — Garbage disposals, while very convenient, pose the risk of electrical shock, lacerations and even bacteria buildup if not used properly! If you think it’s a good idea to do away with the disposal, do so and disengage it.
6. Lock Up the Loaded Drawers — Install child-proof locks or latches to cupboards and drawers that contain knives, cooking utensils and other objects that may cause injury.
7. Secure the Stove — Consider removing the knobs, especially if your loved one doesn’t use the stove — you can always put them back on if the stove use is needed. Also, installing a shut-off valve for the gas is an excellent idea.
8. Light the Way — Nightlights in the kitchen help prevent injuries when your loved one gets up to get water or a snack at night.
9. Give Up the Gadgets — If necessary, remove countertop appliances like blenders, mixers, toasters or coffee makers. Anything electrical poses a shocking risk. And, as stated above, make sure cords of appliances you keep are covered or tacked down and away from sinks and stove tops.
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