Caregivers in Mooresville, NC – Kitchen Safety for Seniors with Dementia is an Important Home Care Focus
For a person who has been diagnosed with some form of dementia, safety may be a concern. They may be relying on family members to help out every so often, but for the most part during the earlier stages of dementia, the individual would likely be able to take care of themselves.
For any caregiver who is working with an individual diagnosed with dementia, there are some things to focus on with regard to safety. Many of the earlier caregivers for an individual diagnosed with dementia will be family members. These individuals will likely be focused on keeping their loved one as safe as possible, even to the point of discouraging them from doing many things on their own that they are still fully capable of doing.
If the senior doesn’t really have much interest in cooking or spending any time in the kitchen, encouraging them to do this now might be counterproductive. For example, an aging father or grandfather who never really had to prepare his own meals because he was invested in a traditional marriage and his wife did all the cooking may not know how to find his way around the kitchen to begin with. He also might not have much interest in cooking his own meals.
Trying to encourage him to start learning now could pose more safety risks than any type of benefit.
Consider locking up sharp knives.
A person with dementia during the earlier stages is at a decreased risk of getting into trouble, but as the disease progresses safety concerns increase. It may be necessary to keep incredibly sharp knives locked up so the senior doesn’t accidentally take them out, confusing the knife for a pan or some other benign object, and get hurt.
This can be frustrating for a family caregiver or professional in-home care provider who is tasked with preparing meals. Every single time they have to cut something they will have to unlock the knife to retrieve it. It’s worth the effort.
Pay attention to food safety.
Somebody with dementia may forget to throw out expired food. Dairy products and other perishable items, especially leftovers, could end up sitting in the fridge for an extended period of time. If the senior is eating this food, it can cause them to become extremely ill.
The last thing any caregiver should want to do is scold the senior for eating something that had been expired. Take time to go through the refrigerator thoroughly and make note of any products that are approaching the expiration date and throw out any that have passed that specific date.