Caution in the Kitchen, Part 2

Mar 13, 2012


Elderly Caution in the KithenWelcome back to the Atlanta Griswold Homecare Blog, where we're talking about kitchen safety for your elderly loved one. Here are 9.5 tips to hazard-proof the kitchen:

1. Throw Out the Rugs -- Throw rugs are a major fall hazard for the elderly and are known to result in permanent disabilities. Remove area rugs from the kitchen floor.

2. Cut the Cords -- Dangling cords are another trip-and-fall hazard, so make sure all electrical cords are covered or tacked down.

2.5 -- Not-so-shocking Extra! Place socket covers over the electrical sockets that aren’t in use. Not only does this prevent shock, but it also provides energy efficient thermal seal insulation.

3. Extinguish the Flammables -- Store all flammable liquids, like lighter fluid, in a safe location out of the kitchen, and preferably, out of the house. Check under your loved one’s kitchen sink for other combustible compounds.

4. Chuck the Junk -- The dreaded ‘junk drawer’ is an extra-hotspot for hazardous items like matches, erasers and plastic that an elderly person with Alzheimer’s or dementia may mistakenly consume. Even if your loved one doesn’t have a cognitive disorder, clearing out the junk drawer is definitely a good idea.

5. Dispose the Disposal -- Garbage disposals, while very convenient, pose the risk of electrical shock, lacerations and even bacteria buildup if not used properly! If you think it’s a good idea to do away with the disposal, do so and disengage it.

6. Lock Up the Loaded Drawers -- Install child-proof locks or latches to cupboards and drawers that contain knives, cooking utensils and other objects that may cause injury.

7. Secure the Stove -- Consider removing the knobs, especially if your loved one doesn’t use the stove -- you can always put them back on if the stove use is needed. Also, installing a shut-off valve for the gas is an excellent idea.

8. Light the Way -- Nightlights in the kitchen help prevent injuries when your loved one gets up to get water or a snack at night.

9. Give Up the Gadgets -- If necessary, remove countertop appliances like blenders, mixers, toasters or coffee makers. Anything electrical poses a shocking risk. And, as stated above, make sure cords of appliances you keep are covered or tacked down and away from sinks and stove tops. 

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