Kitchen Safety Tips For Senior Citizens

Paula Fielding  |  September 9, 2015

Aside from the toilet, the kitchen is the second-most dangerous room in the home for senior citizens.

Aside from the toilet, the kitchen is the second-most dangerous room in the home for senior citizens. It's a hazardous place for anyone, really, but the hindered mobility that often comes with ageing makes it a particular concern for elderly individuals. Senior citizens and those in their support network should make several changes to ensure that the space is safe to enjoy for everyone. Here are some ways to reduce the risks of accidents in the kitchen.

Make some renovations

Kitchens are not the easiest spaces to get around in, so if elderly individuals want to frequently prepare meals, they'll need a few features that will make the tasks of food prep and cooking easier. For starters, it's a good idea to get rid of all the clutter in the kitchen, which takes up floor and counter space and makes trips and falls more likely. Once the area is cleared up, evaluate which appliances and cooking utensils are used on a regular basis, and make sure those are within easy reach.

Pull-out and pull-down shelves, as well as rotating trays, in cabinets can be helpful and eliminate the need to reach. Large cabinet pulls can make it easier to open drawers and cabinets. Additionally, proper lighting is important. Install under-cabinet lighting to illuminate prep areas and make sure there's plenty of light throughout the room. Finally, consider placing a few nonslip mats in areas that may get slippery, such as in front of the sink or a work area.

Adjust kitchen habits

After making the changes for a safer kitchen, it's also important to make sure that senior citizens' kitchen habits aren't putting them at risk for accidents. To start, food should never be left unattended while it's cooking, as this is one of the primary reasons behind kitchen fires. It's also important to use pots and pans that have two handles for a better grip, and always use pot holders to handle warm dishes. In addition, senior citizens should never place flammable items near the cooker. Curtains, napkins and cookbooks should be placed well away from the area.

It's also a good idea to wear clothes that don't put elderly individuals at risk of injury. Senior citizens should avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling jewelry that could get caught in an appliance or catch on fire. Closed-toe shoes with good traction will help reduce the risk of injury from dropped items or slips.

At Sunrise Senior Living, our residential care homes provide safe, comfortable living spaces that take elderly individuals' needs into account. For more information or to find a location near you, contact us today.