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Simple Ways to Encourage Safe Independence in the Kitchen

June 14th, 2016

Elderly Care in North Palm Beach FL

Elderly Care in North Palm Beach FLCooking is an activity that many people greatly enjoy. It is not just about preparing something to eat, but about expressing yourself through the food and showing your love and nurturing to those who are important to you by making them something delicious. For many seniors, limitations and challenges that have developed in their later years make it more difficult for them to handle the tasks of cooking like they used to. This can leave them feeling as though they are not as involved in their families as they once were, or that they are disconnected from the life that they loved. Encouraging safe independence in the kitchen is a fantastic way to keep your aging parent feeling engaged and autonomous, and preventing the potential damaging effects of inactivity and complacency.

Encouraging safe independence is not just about finding ways for your parent to do things completely by themselves. Instead, it is about modifying the kitchen itself and the tasks that your parent wants to do so that they are better able to take them on on their own, as well as with your guidance or the help of an elderly care provider. Even if they are benefiting from the extra assistance of an elder home care services provider, being able to manage at least elements of their kitchen tasks will help your parent feel better about themselves and their entire care experience.

Some simple ways that you can encourage safe independence in the kitchen include:
• Trade out their coffee maker. Does your parent love their morning cup of coffee but struggle with the big pot? Trade out their traditional coffee maker for a one-cup version. This will eliminate the need to handle a heavy, awkward pot that could tip and cause serious burns. It also enables your parent to drink exactly as much as they want without feeling that they are wasting the rest of the pot if they do not want it all.
• Add simple appliances. Browse through any kitchen supply store and you will find countless gadgets and devices designed to simplify kitchen tasks. These may make life simpler for you, but they can mean all the difference for your aging parent. Try adding appliances such as rice cookers, egg cookers, and pasta cookers that help to streamline common cooking efforts and remove dangers such as draining boiling water from a heavy pot.
• Simplify organization. The way that the kitchen is organized can be instrumental in your parent's ability to utilize it effectively and with minimal need for help. Work with them to arrange items that they use most frequently in easily accessible locations and use a label maker to remind them what is in each cabinet and drawer. For extra ease of access, remove commonly used ingredients from large bulk containers and keep smaller amounts right on the countertop so that your parent does not have to search for them or struggle with large, heavy containers when they need those items.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in North Palm Beach, FL, contact the caring staff at BrightStar Care of Jupiter. Call today (561) 741-1200.

Topics: Safety