A common maxim says that “the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach.” Regardless of how true this statement may be in your household, the kitchen can be a disastrous landscape for seniors.
The kitchen can be full of a number of unassuming dangers. With over 100,000 injuries taking place in the kitchen each year in the United States, we can all afford to exercise some caution.
Here are few things to keep in mind to keep your loved ones safe in the kitchen.
Danger #1: Spills
Everyone loves a homemade meal or drink, but as a result the kitchen can be a messy place. If someone spills something in the kitchen while cooking, be sure to clean it immediately. While initially it may not be convenient, you will be glad that you took care of it right away. Slippery surfaces can lead to falls and can cause horrific injuries; from cuts and bruises to broken bones.
This is particularly important in keeping our older, wiser, more fragile loved ones safe and sound when home alone.
Danger #2: Burns
From an early age, everyone learns that fire is not to be played with, but that doesn’t stop people from getting burned. The vast majority of burns that take place in the kitchen are just products of negligence.
Here are a couple tips for making sure that everyone avoids getting burned in your kitchen:
- Don’t leave the kitchen unattended while you are cooking—staying in the kitchen while cooking can prevent your loved ones from accidentally touching something hot.
- Set a timer—It’s easy to get distracted when cooking. Set a timer to remind yourself to check on your meal, and turn off and store all necessary equipment.
- Push hot pots and pans away from the edge of the stovetop—To avoid accidentally knocking hot items off of the stovetop, push them back away from the edge when you are done cooking.
- Disable the stove for seniors with diseases like Alzheimer’s or Dementia—When leaving your loved ones home alone, it can be beneficial to disable any appliances that could cause burns while you are away.
Danger #3: Blades
Knives are sharp. It’s common sense that knives can be dangerous.
If you know how to handle your knives safely and properly, however, there is nothing to fear.
- Use sharp knives—using sharp knives will make cutting easier, and prevent using excessive force.
- Always use a cutting board—Never cut food while it is in your hand, always place it on a cutting board.
- Keep fingers on top of the blade—By keeping your fingers out of the path of the blade, you will avoid cutting your fingers should the blade slip.
- Keep knives clean—By keeping your knives clean, you will keep the handles from becoming oily and slippery.
Danger #4: Pathogens
Most of the most delicious dishes in the world are prepared in the kitchen, which makes keeping your kitchen clean even more important.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 6 Americans get sick from food borne diseases (Salmonella, Norovirus, Campylobacter, Toxoplasma Gondii and E.coli). As people get older, their immune systems often begin to weaken so it is critical to avoid illness at all costs.
These diseases can be avoided my simply sanitizing your kitchen, making sure your food is clean, and by storing food in a safe, clean environment.
Safe-proofing your kitchen can be difficult, and to a certain extent, impossible. If you want to make sure that your loved ones are safe when you are not there, perhaps it’s time to consider an in-home care provider.
Bluebird Home Care knows how to keep your parents, grandparents, or loved one in a continuously safe environment.
Contact Bluebird Homecare to learn more about our services and how we can help restore peace of mind to you and your family.