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Kitchen Safety Tips for Seniors

Jun 6, 2016 by Comfort Keepers of Fredericksburg

Take the Steps to Keep Your Loved Ones Safe

For many families, the kitchen represents a place of joy, comfort, and discovery. Whether it’s a memory of a loved one finally sharing a secret family recipe or a heartfelt conversation with Mom or Dad during dinner, we often associate the kitchen with positive feelings.

However, when you think about the many potential hazards within a kitchen, such as wet floors, fires, and foodborne illnesses, it’s no wonder that the kitchen is considered a potentially dangerous area of the house. While kitchen-related accidents can happen to anyone, they are much more likely to occur with aging adults, especially those who may be affected by declining physical health or Alzheimer’s disease.

Fortunately, we have a few tips that you can use to help prevent accidents from the factors mentioned above, and see to it that your loved ones can enjoy the kitchen safely and in peace.

Preventing Falls

  • Critically evaluate the current lighting situation. If you feel that the lights are not adequate for a senior, install brighter ones. You may also consider automatic night lights.
  • Make sure that cords are placed behind their respective appliances and firmly secured away from the kitchen floor.
  • Check for leaks, both from the refrigerator and sink. Consider hiring a plumber if you are unsure about the condition of pipes.

Preventing Fires

  • Ensure that someone is watching the food as it cooks. Even if something is roasting or baking, it’s important that it is not left unattended.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing while cooking, and keep flammable kitchen accessories (such as towels and potholders) away from all hot cooking surfaces.
  • Hire an electrician to thoroughly check the kitchen’s overall wiring, as well as the voltage of outlets.

Preventing Foodborne Illnesses

  • Keep meats and vegetables in sealed containers, and routinely check your refrigerator’s temperature. Forty degrees Fahrenheit is the max temperature for cold food. Conversely, when reheating food, the temperature should be at or above 165-degrees Fahrenheit.
  • To avoid cross contamination, use different cutting boards to differentiate between meats, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Often times, foodborne bacteria isn’t easily noticeable, so don’t be quick to assume that leftover food is safe to eat from its appearance or smell alone. If there’s any question in your mind, throw it away.

When it comes to kitchen safety, it’s easy to feel like you’re being overcautious, but keep in mind that by following even just one of the tips above, you can easily prevent a life-threatening incident from occurring. Not only will this keep your loved one safe, but you’ll also have continuous peace of mind. For even more tips and information on kitchen safety, click here.

Remember that Comfort Keepers® of Fredericksburg is ready to provide the support your loved one’s needs. Whether that involves assistance in the kitchen or transportation to places in town, our caregivers can help. Contact Us today to learn more about how in-home care make a difference in your loved one’s life. 

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