You have almost certainly heard the phrase “the kitchen is the heart of the home.” It is where the family gathers, where you often share meals, and where you spend a significant amount of time making three meals daily. As we grow older, though, the kitchen can become a hazardous place.
Cooking Safety Tips for Seniors
Awareness of potential kitchen dangers is a huge part of home safety for older adults. According to the National Fire Protection Association, three in ten home fires start in kitchens, more than any other room in the house. The kitchen also has appliances that can leak, leading to slippery floors and fall risk, among other hazards. Use some of these tips to promote home safety for seniors:
Safe cooking appliances for elderly loved ones are crucial. It is easier than you think to walk away from a pot on the stove, get distracted by another task, and forget all about it. Invest in automatic shut-off devices for the stove and other appliances.
Additionally, encourage your loved ones to use timers when they leave things simmering on the stove. Better to have a timer and not need it than to forget your hard-boiled eggs on the stove - eggs get everywhere when they explode.
Make sure everything is within easy reach. Cooking utensils should be easily accessible. Heavy items should either be removed from the kitchen or stored at waist level to avoid heavy lifting.
Purchase pots and pans with two handles for ease of lifting. Remind seniors to turn handles away from them when cooking, so they do not snag on clothing or get knocked down.
Check for leaks around the refrigerator, sink, and other appliances to avoid slips and falls.
Buy an easy-to-use fire extinguisher and make sure your loved one knows how to use it.
Install smoke detectors and check every three to six months to ensure they are working properly.
Remove curtains, towels, or pot holders that hang over stoves where they could brush a flame or hot coil and ignite again.
If you have a forgetful loved one in your life - even if they are not elderly - you may want to consider a Cook Stop. A cook stop attaches to your electric stove and uses motion detectors. When it doesn’t detect motion around the stove after a set amount of time, it will shut down the stove. It’s the perfect way to keep the stove safe for an elderly loved one and give you peace of mind.
Download Our Home Safety Guide
Making the home safe for seniors is always a priority and allows our elderly loved ones to continue to enjoy activities they love, like cooking, while also keeping us from worrying.