Toronto In-Home Care Blog

No Fires in the Kitchen - Senior Safety

Posted by Steve Jones

Mon, Oct 5, 2015

There’s a time when things that were once easy become a little worrisome. Remember when your parents told you to stay away from the stove.  There may come a time in your life when you’re worried about their safety in the kitchen  Forgetting to turn off burners, misuse of the garbage disposal or unsteady hands for chopping can all be a cause for concern.  If you have a senior that you're worried about and they’re spending time in the kitchen, think about these recommendations.

Automatic Shut Offs

New Call-to-Action Obviously no one wants their kitchen to catch fire.  When stove top burners, kettles, ovens or any heating device is left on unattended, it could lead to a dangerous situation.  If a parent with Alzheimer's or short-term memory loss is in the kitchen on a regular basis, consider installing automatic shut off switches.

Most self-heating kettles come with an automatic shutoff feature but always check the packaging to be sure.  

For your stove and oven, consider purchasing a unit with automatic shut off technology.  Some stove units have a feature that allows you to set a timer.  After the allotted time, the stove will shut off.

Another option for stove top safety, is an external sensor to be placed over the stove.  Some smoke detectors can be placed near the stove and are connected to the stove’s electrical plug.  If the smoke detector goes off, the unit will automatically shut off the stove, lowering the possibility of a fire.  

Dangerous Items

For sharp, pointy or poisonous objects, consider placing them in locked or childproof drawers.  One of the symptoms of late stage Alzheimer's is the urge to put foreign (and sometimes dangerous) objects in your mouth.  The last thing you want, is an older loved one putting some strange medication, cleaning product or sharp item in his or her mouth.  

Slippery Floors

Like in the bathroom, if your kitchen floor has rugs or mats, consider putting a rubber base to prevent slipping.  

Cabinet Confusion

If your parent is forgetting where things go in the kitchen or where to find certain items, a helpful solution is to label the cabinets.  Labels will make the day a little bit easier for those with mild memory loss, and help make sure the kitchen is still in order.  As stated above, if any of the cabinets contain dangerous items, make sure to put locks or childproof features on them.

How much was the water bill?

Though less dangerous, running faucets can cause high water bills or even damage from flooding.  If your parent is prone to forgetting to turn things off, make sure that you’re attentive to the sink or you can invest in a faucet with an automatic shutoff feature. 

Suggested purchases for the kitchen

  • Automatic shut off stove, oven and kettles
  • Automatic shut off faucets
  • Rubber backed floor mats
  • Locks or child locks for cabinets and drawers
  • Cabinet labels
  • Additional smoke detectors
  • Stove Burner covers

How do I know which items to install?

It can be tough to adjust when a loved one begins to experience Alzheimer’s symptoms.  You may have a lot of questions about what you can do to help.  If you have any questions about any of the recommendations above, feel free to contact us at Qualicare.  We’re happy to help make sure that your house is a safe place for your older loved one.  

 To learn more about Alzheimer’s, check out our Alzhiemer’s ebook:

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To learn more about home safety, check out our blogs: