Many people have fond memories of their mother or grandmother working in the kitchen for a holiday meal. The house was filled with the smell of a Thanksgiving turkey and it reminds us of a better time. While the kitchen may have been the heartbeat of the household, it soon became a dangerous place for the elderly if precautions aren’t made ahead of time.
The biggest fear for most of us is a fire starting in the kitchen. While fires can happen at any time in our lives, our elderly loved ones can be at a larger risk. Sometimes they will be slow to react or unable to get away from the fire. For this reason, make sure that there is always a working smoke detector near the kitchen. The batteries on these should be changed twice a year. Also, a small fire extinguisher should be placed near the stove. Do not use a water-based fire extinguisher but one marked clearly for A, B, and C fires. Check it often to make sure there is still pressure in the container.
Bathrobes and other clothing with loose hanging sleeves should not be worn while cooking, as they can catch fire easily. Also, avoid allowing other flammable items on or near the stove. These can include: paper towels, dish cloths, mail, or boxes of food.
Another danger in the kitchen can be from slipping on the floor. While you may think this occurrence happens mainly in the bathroom, falls are also common in the kitchen. Slippery floors, standing on chairs or step ladders, or simply bending over and losing your balance can all happen. Some ways to lessen these potential hazards is to place water-absorbent, non-skid mats on the floor near the sink and dishwasher. You can spend the day with your loved one, as well, and help them to rearrange the kitchen so that all of their necessary items are low enough within reach.
A bit of prevention goes a long way in the kitchen. No one wants to get hurt and with a little help, you can ensure that your loved ones will be protected.