One of the best things you can do for your aging loved one is to allow him or her to be as independent as possible. Promoting independence in the elderly often involves making modifications that make it easier to perform normal daily tasks like cooking and cleaning. The first place to start making the modifications is the kitchen, and the following strategies can keep seniors safe and independent while cooking.
Invest in Fire Safety Equipment
Kitchen fires happen more commonly with adults over 65 than with any other age group. For this reason, fire safety needs to be a top priority in your loved one’s kitchen. Check regularly to make sure smoke detectors are in place and working. Consider buying a timer for the stove or oven that shuts it off after a certain amount of time. Also, make sure the kitchen is equipped with a working fire extinguisher.
To ensure your loved one remains safe when performing daily tasks such as meal prep, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Coral Gables home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
Look for Expiration Dates on Edibles
To prevent your loved one from getting sick, look for expiration dates on the food in his or her pantry and refrigerator. Check the fridge at least once a week and get rid of produce, meat, and dairy products that have become moldy or sour. If the expiration dates on food are too small for your loved one to read, write a larger date on the packaging or keep a log he or she can refer back to.
Reduce the Risk of Falls
Make sure there is no clutter in your loved one’s kitchen, as it could cause him or her to trip and fall or create a fire hazard if it’s close to an appliance. Invest in a grabber so your loved one can reach items on higher shelves and cabinets, and remove loose rugs and mats that may cause him or her to trip. Replace the rugs with nonslip mats when possible. Also, ensure the kitchen is well-lit so your loved one can see what he or she is doing at all times.
Make Meal Prep Convenient
Make the kitchen more convenient for your loved one to use by moving items to lower shelves and cabinets. Buy some lightweight pots, pans, plates, and bowls that are easier to carry from counter to counter. Replace glass with plastic to prevent an accident if the item is dropped. Add a Lazy Susan to the table and install lighting in dark pantries and cabinets.
Seniors who need help preparing meals should consider professional in-home care. 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. Coral Gables seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
Keep the Kitchen Clean
Clutter can be both a fall risk and a fire hazard, so it’s important to keep your loved one’s kitchen clean at all times. Take some time each week to wipe down surfaces and make sure dishes are being cleaned properly so your loved one doesn’t get sick. Remove slick and dirty spots from the floor that could cause him or her to slip and fall. If you can’t do it, consider hiring someone to do some light housekeeping. The cleaner the kitchen is, the safer and easier it is to use. Keeping the kitchen organized may also help your loved one find items easily when he or she cooks a meal or makes a snack.
From preparing meals to getting dressed, older adults may need help with several activities. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of senior care. Coral Gables Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services. To speak to one of our professional Care Managers, give us a call at 1 (305) 964-5636 today.