26 Cooking Safety Tips for Seniors Who Love Making Meals At Home
Although the kitchen is the heart of the home, it's also a space with some inherent dangers. That's true for chefs of all skill levels and ages, including older adults. Kitchen risk factors include fire hazards, heavy items often used for cooking, and slippery floors. We're not saying, though, that older adults need to hang up their apron. With the below 26 cooking safety tips, anyone at any age can confidently navigate their way through the kitchen and cook awesome daily or weekly meals.
What are the hazards older adults face in the kitchen?
Some potential kitchen risks for older adults include:
- Fires. Ovens and stovetops - especially when left on for too long - can all be major fire sources, as can fabric or cloth near open flame.
- Slippery floors. Tiled floors are common in kitchens, and they can be slippery, especially when there's water or cooking oil splatter on them.
- Transporting meals. Not all kitchens include eating areas, and carrying meals from one room to another can introduce fall risks.
- Items out of reach. Struggling to grab objects that are too high up, especially heavy items, can cause a loss of balance, leading to falls.
- Poor lighting. Good lighting is a home safety must, especially in a room with as many potential hazards as the kitchen.
- Leaks.Any liquid seeping out of fridges, dishwashers, or sinks can make floors more slippery.
- Fragile materials.Bowls, plates, cups, and mugs are often made from fragile materials like ceramic or glass that can shatter into numerous sharp pieces.
- Sharp objects.Knives and other similarly-sharp kitchen objects always come with a risk of serious injury for chefs of all ages.
26 cooking safety tips for seniors
Below are 26 tips, grouped into a few categories, that older adults can follow for maximum kitchen safety.
Fire safety tips in the kitchen
According to the National Fire Protection Agency, cooking was the cause of nearly half of home fires between 2015 and 2019. Some kitchen safety tips to avoid fires include:
- Keep easy-to-use fire extinguishers within quick reach.
- Install appliances with automatic shut-off features.
- Avoid wearing loose clothes that could make contact with open flames.
- Ensure all smoke detectors are operational, and regularly replace their batteries.
- Clean grease off stovetops after cooking.
- Install safety alarms in stoves to detect gas leaks.
- Clean the oven twice per year.
- Hire an electrician to inspect outlets and wiring for damage every three months, especially if the kitchen is in an older home.
Anti-fall safety tips in the kitchen
Older adults experience 36 million falls per year, according to the Centers for Disease and Prevention Control (CDC). The below safety tips for seniors can prevent kitchen falls.
- Clear pathways and decrease clutter.
- Place nightlights and motion-sensing lights along pathways.
- Add recessed ceiling lights or fluorescent lights, as well as light switches at entry points.
- Install anti-slip flooring.
- Wear slippers with grip to minimize slip potential.
- Equip kitchen chairs with safety casters that lock when nobody is sitting in the chair.
- Move all key appliances, especially heavy ones, to waist level.
- Install refrigerators with bottom freezers so that more food is at waist level.
- Ensure all appliance doors open easily.
- Create a small eating nook in the kitchen to eliminate meal transport between rooms.
- Check for appliance leaks every one to three months to avoid the chance of a slip and fall.
- Use pots and pans with two handles for easy reaching and transport.
Sharp object safety tips in the kitchen
Difficulties with dexterity, declining vision, and the inability to hold or carry certain objects can increase the risk of cuts, including cuts serious enough to warrant serious medical attention. Some cooking safety tips for seniors to minimize this risk include:
- Use plastic bowls, plates, mugs, and cups instead of ceramics or glasses.
- Regularly hire a professional to sharpen knives, as dull knives can lead to injury.
- Add lighting under cabinets and over stovetops for clearer sight when cutting.
- Use can openers that result in no sharp edges.
- Wear cut-resistant gloves when preparing food.
- Remove all sharp objects if the older adult is experiencing Alzheimer's or dementia.
One final tip: Enjoy freshly made heat-and-eat meals
Cooking is a joy at any age, and so too is eating a nutritious, delicious meal made with love. Previously, that's meant going to a restaurant or paying for takeout, and both options are expensive, not always fresh, and not always healthy. With Meal Village, that changes.
Meal Village delivers ready-to-go meals for older adults with Chicago-sourced ingredients, that cater to any dietary needs. These meals are prepared the same day they're delivered - just heat them in the microwave or oven, and you're all set. Simply place your order online or via phone, and you'll get a meal as delightful as what you could make yourself.
Start Your Meal Delivery in Chicago Today
Now that you're on board with the many delicious, healthy and convenient benefits of meal delivery services, do yourself a favor and try our ultra-fresh chef-prepared meals today. There's no subscription or commitment required, and we're always here for you with daily delivery.
And our menu is always changing, so be sure to check out what's cooking this week.