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Kitchen Tips To Keep The Elderly Safe

Posted by Deb Spinelli on 10/8/2015
Kitchen safety is an important part of keeping your elderly loved one safe at home. The bathroom may be the most likely place in the home for an accident involving an elderly person to occur, but the kitchen comes in a very close second. In reality, the kitchen can be a dangerous place for anyone. Hot stove tops and ovens, sharp knives, and potentially slippery floors are all possible causes of accident or injury. For those 65 and older, these things, along with diminishing eye sight and the potential balance issues that come with age, make practicing kitchen safety even more important. Here are a few simple tips to make sure the kitchen remains a safe place for your elderly loved one:
  1. Maintain Adequate Lighting. Ensure that there is sufficient lighting in the kitchen to ensure that your loved one will be able to see at all times. There should be a bright light over the range as well as lights above the sink and countertop areas. There should also be night lights on at all times during the night. This is to avoid a nasty slip and fall accident should your loved one decide to slip into the kitchen for a midnight snack. Light switches should be located at every kitchen entrance so that it will not be necessary for your loved one to cross a darkened room in order to turn on the lights.
  2. Do A Quick Appliance Check. Are there a number of small appliances cluttering up countertops and other work surfaces? If so, you should "edit" your countertops to ensure that only necessary small appliances are left out. These should never be plugged in unless in use. Make sure the controls on the stovetop and oven are easy to read and easy to use. Make sure to keep all flammable materials – such as curtains and kitchen towels – well away from burners. The range exhaust should vent outside, and any gas ranges should be equipped with a pilot light and automatic shut off feature.
  3. Basic Safety Measures: Ensure that all cabinetry and drawers shut properly and are not left open when not in use. Cabinets should be easy to reach. Pull-down shelves are an option for higher cabinets. Install a lever-handled faucet for ease of use. Keep only regularly used items on the counters, which should be free of unnecessary clutter. Keep knives and other sharp objects safely stored away at all times. Install non-slip flooring, and avoid surfaces with glare.

Posted in: Elderly Care, Safety Products