Dementia changes a lot about how your senior’s brain works, but it doesn’t change who she is and what she loves to do. Some of the things she likes to do, like cooking, can still be possible with assistive tools and people who are willing to help. These are just some ideas for helping your senior to keep cooking occasionally, if that’s something she loves to do.
Keep Pot Handles Turned Away
Pot handles are dangerous for anyone who is cooking, but they can be especially troublesome for your senior if she still wants to cook. You can try a variety of different techniques to help keep them turned properly. If you’re cooking with her or if senior care providers are helping her cook, just keep an eye on them and turn them as necessary. Another option that works well for either solo cooking or cooking with someone else is to tape some pictures on the counter next to the stove with pots showing the handles turned away. This can help your senior to remember to watch those handles.
Clear the Area Around the Stove
Clutter around the stove can be really distracting for your elderly family member. Cooking is distracting enough, so you want to make sure that your senior has a fighting chance. Clear the area around the stove as much as possible. With that area open, she’s going to be less likely to run into issues with anything touching the burner that shouldn’t do so.
Use Auto Shutoff Knobs for the Stove and Oven
Knobs that automatically shut off the burners and the oven are available and easily install on most stoves. They’re very helpful if your elderly family member becomes distracted easily while she’s cooking something. Another option is to install knob locks that keep the burners and the oven from turning on unless your senior has someone there with her to help.
Use Multiple Timers and Reminders
Timers and reminders help your senior so much no matter what she’s doing. When she’s cooking, timers help her to stay on task and remember that she’s doing something important that needs her attention. Even if your elderly family member has senior care providers helping her, having a habit of using a timer for each stage of what she’s doing can be really helpful.
Cooking is still possible, but your elderly family member may need some additional assistance and tools to make sure she’s safe.