One of the most visited rooms in the home is the kitchen. The kitchen is the central location where meal preparation and dining occur. With sharp objects and fire hazards, there are many safety concerns in the kitchen for people of any age. Seniors should take special precautions when cooking in the kitchen due to their increased difficulty with mobility and balance. Key steps to ensure senior safety in the kitchen are detailed below.
Always Keep a Chair Nearby
As people grow older, they often have increased difficulty standing for long periods. Cooking a meal can take significant time, especially if cooking large batches of food for the whole week. When seniors stand for an extended time, their risk of fatigue and falls increases. Always keep a chair in the kitchen while cooking to combat this risk. This allows you to take breaks from standing while water boils or food simmers. Additionally, some seniors may choose to sit for the entire cooking duration. If this is the case, ensure that the chair is tall enough to allow you to reach the countertop without stretching or bending.
Maintain Adequate Lighting
Cooking meals in the kitchen is best done with adequate lighting. Seniors should use their kitchen to prepare meals during brighter times, such as the morning and early afternoon. However, when natural light dims, it's vital to utilize bright kitchen lightbulbs to illuminate the entire kitchen area. Failure to maintain adequate lighting may lead to cuts from knives, slips or falls from tripping, or burns from stoves or hot appliances.
The type of floor installed in a senior's kitchen should be non-slip. Investing in anti-slip kitchen floorings like vinyl and cork can prevent slip and fall injuries. However, if kitchen floor replacement is not an option, invest in non-slip slippers to wear while in the kitchen. These socks have a grip on them, increasing friction between the ground and the feet, thus decreasing the chance of accidental slipping. In addition to wearing these non-slip socks or slippers, clean up kitchen spills immediately to prevent possible slip injuries from messes on the ground.
The older we get, the more difficult it becomes to stretch and reach for objects in hard-to-reach locations. This can lead to muscle strain and falls from imbalance. To combat this issue, seniors should place all commonly used items in an area they can easily reach. For example, limit the use of upper cabinets and put all appliances like microwaves at the counter level.
Work With a Home Care Aide to Ensure Safety
There are many unsafe practices that people follow when cooking. To prevent unnecessary injury, seniors must take precautions while in the kitchen. Unfortunately, doing so without the help of a care professional or paid family member caregiver can be difficult. Consider hiring an experienced home care aide like the professionals at Rockaway Home Care. We can help protect the safety of your senior loved one or guide you through the NY CPDAP program application. You should always be protected against slips, falls, fires, and injuries in your kitchen. Call us today to talk about how we can best help your loved one receive the care they deserve.