Cooking is advantageous for older adults in many ways. It provides an exciting hobby that can keep them mentally active as well as the opportunity to whip up delicious food that can benefit their health. However, the most important thing for seniors who want to cook for themselves is their safety. The following five important cooking safety tips can keep seniors safe and healthy when making their favorite recipes.
1. Prevent Accidents
The kitchen should have ample lighting, especially next to the stove, to keep seniors from tripping, spilling hot foods, or even adding the wrong ingredients to their recipes. Seniors should put nonslip mats below the sink and in front of the oven, which are the areas where spills are most likely to occur. Older adults should also make a habit of closing all drawers and cabinets after opening them to get items such as ingredients and utensils for creating their meals. If doors and drawers are left open, seniors can easily run into them and get painful bruises.
2. Be Careful with Cookware
When cooking, seniors need to remember to turn each pot handle so it’s not hanging over the edge of the stove and able to be tipped over. It would be safest to use pans or pots with handles on both sides for cooking. Aging adults should also make sure oven mitts and potholders are easily accessible to prevent burns.
For seniors who still want to prepare meals but have health conditions that make cooking alone unsafe, a professional caregiver can be a great resource. Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional home care Denver seniors can trust and rely on.
3. Make Cooking Easier
Aging adults need to get out of the habit of climbing or standing on a chair in the kitchen to reach items, which could cause them to lose their balance and injure themselves. To prevent this, seniors should keep the kitchen items they use most often within easy reach. Also, they should store heavy items on a counter or at waist level, because bending over to get a heavy item on a lower shelf or grabbing something weighty from a higher one could cause a strained back.
Cooking their own meals can give many seniors a sense of independence, even if cognitive issues or other health conditions make it unsafe for them to live alone. For many seniors in Denver, CO, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness.
4. Thwart Foodborne Illness
Aging adults should take preventive measures to make sure the food they’re cooking is safe and won’t cause them to get sick. When preparing meals, they should use different cutting boards for meat and other types of food. To make it less confusing, they can use a red cutting board for slicing meat and a green one for chopping vegetables. After a meal, seniors should also put any leftovers in sealed containers and refrigerate immediately.
5. Prevent Fires
It’s a great idea to install an oven shutoff, which turns off the oven if it’s left unattended. Installing a shutoff can avert an accidental fire. A warning will also be sent to a friend or family member if the oven is left unattended for too long. Seniors should also consider installing a life-saving monitored smoke detector in the kitchen that sounds an alarm and calls the local fire department.
Many seniors love to use their kitchens, and having the help of a professional caregiver can ensure they’re able to do so safely. When considering in-home care, Denver, CO, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of the compassionate Care Managers at Home Care Assistance today at (720) 443-3371.