Ways to Prevent Danger in a Kitchen for People living with Dementia

Sharing a kitchen can always be a struggle, we all remember trying to help our mum as a child and being told ‘too many chefs spoil the broth’, but sharing a kitchen with someone with dementia can be unsafe, and leaving someone with dementia alone to tend with their kitchen is even worse. Keeping safe is important for everyone in the kitchen, but is more of a concern for those living with dementia for several reasons; memory problems can lead to things being left on, physical difficulties can make it hard to lift pots and pans and general confusion can make arbitrary tasks with well-known appliances bewildering. So Barchester have decided to give you all the basic information on how to keep your loved one safe in the kitchen. Alternatively, there are many different types of care available with Barchester, so you can sleep knowing you don’t have to worry about your parents or grandparents getting themselves into danger.    

Avoiding Fires and Floods

Fires and floods are one of the most worrying elements involved with cooking in a kitchen – leaving on a tap or oven is easy, we’ve all done it at some point! But for people living with dementia, the likelihood they are going to forget is higher, combined with the fact they may even lose touch of how to properly use the switches and knobs. Ensuring your loved one has a smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide alarm is an absolute essential and saves countless lives – make sure you check it for them at least once a month. An electric cooker guard can be installed, which can set a specific time a device (such as the oven) should be left on or off for and results in an alarm when the temperature is higher than it should be. If you’re worried about taps, special plugs can be fitted which ensure the water will be released from the basin if it gets too full.

Falling Whilst Carrying Hot Food and Drink

Falling whilst carrying something hot like a meal or a cup of tea isn’t difficult, particularly when using a walking stick or wheelchair. Why not consider a tray trolley, which provide similar support to a walker but with a surface. Also, sturdy kitchen steps or a step ladder are a good idea, to ensure ease when reaching into low or high cupboards. Our staff at Barchester are on hand to bring food and drinks to our residents, so if you’re worrying about whether or not your Dad is going to trip over his worn out rug whilst making a cup of tea, you need stress no more. At Barchester, our staff are on hand to provide our residents with the service they require – so if they want a cup of tea or coffee they won’t have to worry about getting burnt.

Deadly Food Poisoning

Use by dates and foods that’s gone off is easy to forget about, at the best of times. With dementia, appetite can fluctuate meaning perishable food that’s been put in the fridge can cause problems. The simplest way to fight this is by ensuring you help your parents with regular fridge clear outs, as well as using large stickers or post it notes to make it clear when food is out of date. At Barchester this is not a concern – we have a great diet and make sure food is always a particularly enjoyable experience!

If you’re finding it difficult to connect to your parents because they live too far, why not have a look at some of our care homes near you. We have homes across the UK and offer support for those who need assisted living, as well as providing accommodation and care services for people with dementia.