Kitchens are the heart of the home.
They’re where the magic happens – where both meals and memories are made.
But as we age, navigating the kitchen can become a bit tricky… and even dangerous.
In fact, kitchens are one of the most hazardous areas of the home for seniors, because with diminished balance, vision and reflexes – their slippery floors, hard surfaces, and hot electrical appliances can cause unwanted accidents.
But if you have an elderly loved one, there are ways to safeguard their kitchen for them – so you can have peace of mind that they’re safer at home.
Have a safe base
Get an electrician to pop by and give the fuse box a quick look. They’ll check whether the wiring in the kitchen is done properly and safely, so your elderly loved one can avoid unnecessary hazards.
Ensure good lighting
To make the space easy to move around and navigate (and to reduce eye strain), it’s helpful to install light switches at every entry point to the kitchen – that way, as soon as your loved one enters the room, they can flick the switch.
Store sharp objects away
Objects like knives and any sharp utensils should be carefully stored away in a drawer. They should still be easy to access, but not easy to accidentally knock over.
Fridge clean out
Around once a week, it’s a good idea to go through the food in the fridge and throw out anything that’s past its expiration date. You elderly loved one’s eyesight might not be strong enough to read the small print on packaging, so it’s best for you to do this for them.
Don’t overload the powerboards
When powerboards are overloaded, they can cause fires. If there big appliances, like fridges and microwaves, plugged into one powerboard – it might be feeling the heat. To be safe, get an ‘overload protection’ powerboard.
Remove any fall hazards
If there are rugs or mats in the kitchen, tape them down to avoid trips or falls. You could also check the fridge for leaks that might have the potential create puddles.
There are lots of kitchen-safe tools around these days, and one of the best of them is a device that automatically turns off appliances when they’re no longer in use.