It’s the place where some of the most sumptuous meals are made and hearts made merry but the kitchen is also a very dangerous room if proper safety approach is not put in place at all times. There are many things that could easily endanger life, especially for the elderly and disabled. An extra care needs to be taken when designing, renovating or building a kitchen for these wonderful people. Some of the potential hazards that may have to be conscious of range from slips, electrical fires, falls and spilling of hot substances while cooking.
When designing a kitchen for the seniors, it is good to bear in mind that most of the time they are likely to be alone and therefore the design should guarantee their safety and also be functional for them.
Kitchen room safety tips for the seniors
To prevent accidents in the kitchen, read these kitchen design ideas to see how you can improve the kitchen and ensure safety for the elders.
1. Have auto shut off appliances
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As our parent’s age, memory loss becomes very common and this affects all areas of their lives. The problem is more common in the kitchen and the likelihood of forgetting to check food that’s cooking is more likely which could lead to cases of firebreak. As such, it will be advisable to invest in appliances that have automatic shut-off mechanism and which are also easy to use. Appliances such as stoves, ovens and the like should at least be able to go off after a certain duration of time. Thus, to enable such features installing a timer or thermostat can prove to be a beneficial investment.
2. Install cabinets within reach
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With Kitchen cabinets you tend to get an orderly storage for all the appliances, utensils, and food. Planning a kitchen for the elders, it is essential to make sure that the cabinets are not to high and rather are easily accessible by the elders. You do not wish that your seniors use a stool to reach the cabinet or have items scattered all over the worktop simply because it’s not easy to store them efficiently.
3. Provide sufficient lighting
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Lighting plays a very important role when it comes to safety in the kitchen. While young people might have strong sight, the vision of many elderly people tends to get weak with time and so they might require some more light to enhance their visibility. Sufficient lighting in the kitchen should be installed so that they can have a clear vision while cooking or walking in the kitchen space. the sink and worktop area can be risky so make sure the lights properly fall on those areas as well.
4. Eliminate carpets and rags for easier movement
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The growing age makes it difficult for them to move freely, here carpets and rugs can be a menace under such circumstances. To avoid against disaster in the kitchen, make sure to remove the rugs and so by doing this you can minimize the possibility of tripping especially for those who use walking aids and wheelchairs. Making the floor obstacle free.
5. Install a non-skid floor
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Certain floor designs can be tricky and can prove to be a risky investment for both elders as well as other family members. So, If you have tiles or marble flooring, make sure that the tiles are made skid-free, think for the ways on how you can make it non-skid and doing so, you’ll be minimizing the possibilities of falls and injuries. Using the non-slippery material for flooring will make it better to walk around on a rough and hard to slide floor.
6. Provide the appropriate pots
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Not all the pots in the kitchen might be safe for elders, especially the one having loose grip. while some might have single or no handle, the task of handling the utensils becomes difficult while cooking. The handles should be made from materials that are non-heat conducting such as plastic, bakelite, or wood. A good grip of the handles is also essential since the elderly person might have be troubled with having shaky hands, this could pose a risk for accidents.
7. Provide sufficient space
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Whether elderly person or not, space is one of the basic things to have a cooking comfort. The elderly people should not have to contend with squeezed space and endure bumping into furniture and other obstacles. Try to decongest the kitchen by removing any unnecessary items therein. You should also try to invest in easy-to-use multi-functional appliances such as a food processor or opt for a built-in appliance such as ovens. Village Bakery has some creative ideas to create better and improved space in the kitchen to ensure safety and functioning.
8. Invest in a smoke detector
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It is always less, while thing about kitchen safety. As such, it’s good to take every precautionary measure that’ll help keep the elderly safe while using the kitchen or even while being away. One of the best ways to do this is to install a monitored smoke detector which will raise an alarm in case a problem persists in the kitchen and will also alert you as well as the fire department.
9. Do Not Leave loose cords and cables
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Cords having around the kitchen floor or walls can be dangerous not only for the elderly but everyone else accessing the kitchen. Always make sure the cords are tucked away from the floor and instead have them behind the appliances and counters. Not only does this keep the kitchen safe but also helps make it tidy.
If you are helping an elderly person improve safety in the kitchen, these tips will prove to be of great help in the process. As an elderly person, you could also plan ahead of time to ensure that your kitchen is safe by following the same guidelines. The kitchen should not only be safe but also functional and comfortable. There are many kitchen designs available and these could be of great help as you make some changes to improve kitchen room safety.