- What are the best kitchen appliances and aids for old people?
- Boiling water taps are safer for elderly
- Fire safety monitors and alarms for older people
- Best kitchen gadget for seniors
As we age, everyday kitchen tasks become more of a challenge. So if you’re looking for ways to make kitchen tasks easier and safer either for yourself or a loved one, we’ve identified a range of solutions that could help reduce potential risks.
What kitchen appliances are suitable for older people?
You could make the kitchen safer and easier to navigate to use by making just a few adjustments, such as introducing better appliances into the space.
Choosing Elderly-friendly Ovens & Hobs
Are you finding it difficult to use your oven and hobs? Perhaps due to being visually impaired or due to a lack of strength?
You’ll be pleased to know that there are several products available to help make the cooker easier to use, such as:
- Knob turners
- Double-handled saucepans
- Induction hobs
- Stovetop monitors
Bumpons are self-adhesive raised dots that can be attached near oven and hob settings to help blind people determine which knob connects to the relevant burner. You can also attach these to other appliances such as microwave ovens and dishwashers to help the visually impaired use different devices in the kitchen.
Knob turners are another valuable aid for the elderly, thanks to their large grip handles, giving those who have trouble turning knobs extra leverage. If you’re having trouble lifting traditional saucepans, replace them with double-handled alternatives or ergonomic saucepans, which are designed to be easier to raise and increase grip.
If you’re worried about someone leaving the cooker on, install a stovetop monitor which sends a signal out to a smartphone device when the stove is turned on or left unattended for a significant amount of time. Some units will even allow you to set a timer for how many minutes you want to cook the food.
Boiling Water Taps for the Elderly
Arthritis, joint pains and inflammation in the hands, back and hips are common causes of aches and pains in older people. As a result, extra care must be taken to help older people avoid risks in the kitchen, one of the most common being burns from an open flame, hot surfaces and boiling water.
According to the British Burn Association (BBA), the most commonplace for the elderly to sustain a burn injury is at home. Besides the cooker, ageing people risk getting burnt from handling kettles and pans of boiling water, which can be heavy to lift.
It can also be difficult to determine how much water to fill the kettle due to the small font. If your kettle is heavy to lift, you might want to consider getting a travel kettle.
However, we believe that boiling water taps are the safest option for the elderly, whether they live at home, in residential care or in other healthcare settings.
Hot water taps are a safer and more convenient alternative to the kettle and saucepan because they:
- Do not require any heavy lifting or manual handling
- Most have built-in safety features to prevent accidental scalding
- They save water and money by only dispensing the required amount of water
- The filtration system removes impurities from the water, making it safe to drink
Did you know that a standard 1.5L kettle can hold 1.5Kg of water? That’s not including the weight of the kettle itself. Installing a boiling water tap would eliminate the need for heavy lifting, as hot water is dispensed at the push of a button or twist of a handle.
Fahren UK offers boiling water taps in several different colours to suit every kitchen design. Our instant boiling water taps come fitted with safety mechanisms such as sprung handles and insulated spouts to minimise the risk of accidental scalding. To dispense boiling water, you must hold and twist a safety button, which returns to safety once the hand has been removed, meaning the tap cannot unintentionally be turned on. Head to our helpful video page to see more safety features, installation guides and fun facts about our range of boiling water taps.
You also won’t need to worry about splashback with Fahren UK boiling water faucets, which dispense water at a lower pressure than traditional taps to eliminate the risk of serious injury.
Choosing a Safe Microwave Oven
While microwaves aren’t as versatile as conventional ovens, they are much easier to clean and convenient for specific cooking tasks.
Microwave ovens use less energy than traditional ovens. In addition, they are compact, making them a good fit for smaller kitchens, and they can quickly cook and reheat food.
When choosing a microwave oven for an older person, there are three key factors you want to consider:
- Simple buttons
- It makes a loud ping when the food has finished cooking
- Has a good reflex system
While younger people might like microwaves that come with quirky features, it’s best to choose a simple and basic product for older people, with a large display panel and buttons.
Some microwaves have built-in talking features to notify people when their food is ready, also advising the user to “stir their food”, “leave to cool”, and “close the door” – particularly useful for people who are partially sighted. If you don’t want to purchase a “speaking” microwave, choose a product that makes a loud ping to alert the user when their food is ready.
Best Dishwasher for Older People
Everyday chores such as washing dishes become a challenge as you age. As a result, it’s essential to consider the safety and ease of other appliances that help make older people feel more comfortable such as a dishwasher.
The best types of dishwashers not only save time and effort but can be energy efficient, saving you pennies. If you have limited space available in the kitchen or live alone, fret not, there are compact dishwashers available from just about any manufacturer.
Those of our readers that are concerned about back pain, diabetes and arthritis might want to invest in a countertop dishwasher. As the name suggests, these dishwashers sit on top of countertops, often next to sinks for easy hookup to water. With these being placed higher than conventional dishwashers, you won’t need to worry about bending down to load and remove dishes from the machine.
Some dishwashers also have buttons for controls instead of touch-sensitive pads, preventing the risk of accidentally turning on the appliance or pressing a feature you didn’t intend to use.
Most new dishwashers also have anti-flooding technology, which stops the device from filling further if it detects water in the base.
Fire Safety Monitors and Alarms
The standard fire alarm only alerts homeowners and renters about a dangerous situation caused by smoke; they do not detect gas, heat, carbon monoxide or flooding, which are all potential risks inside the kitchen.
We recommend installing other detectors to keep your loved ones safe at home or in independent living for added protection. Besides fitting carbon monoxide and flooding detectors, you might want to consider stove alarms, which are particularly useful for people who get distracted or have memory disorders and could potentially leave the cooker turned on unattended.
If you want to increase the cooking safety for those with dementia or other memory disorders, consider fitting a motion sensor device.
How do they work?
Suppose you’re cooking in the kitchen but step out of range of the motion detector for five minutes. Then the device will automatically turn off your cooker or place it in standby mode. When you come back in range of the motion detector, the device will turn the stove back on.
Monitors and alarms can also be linked to your telecare system to send an alert to a monitoring centre or carer if there is ever a call for help.
Best Kitchen Gadgets For Seniors’
We’ve covered some of the bigger kitchen appliances, but what about small gadgets and gizmos that could make tasks in the kitchen more accessible for older people?
Although cutting safety begins with the right tools and equipment, your cognitive abilities decline as you get older, meaning the elderly are prone to instability, which can be worrying when handling sharp objects.
While cut-resistant gloves cannot eliminate the risk of injury entirely, they significantly minimise the risk of it happening by protecting seniors’ precious hands.
Soft Grip Kitchen Scissors
A smart solution for elderly people or those with arthritis are soft grip kitchen scissors which can cut through delicate produce or tough foods while providing extra stability in the hand thanks to the soft-grip handle.
Some kitchen scissors are also self-opening and assist the user with cutting – useful if you have limited strength or dexterity.
A reaching stick, also known as a grabber stick or pick-up tool, is an extendable tool with a picker on the end to help you reach items on high shelves or in the back of cupboards.
It’s the perfect tool for elderly people with limited mobility, such as wheelchair users or those who struggle to reach items placed on higher shelves due to arthritis, chronic back pain, or other ailments.
If you’re still unsure about which aids would be most helpful or want to talk to a professional about your health, make an appointment with your GP, who can assess your needs and make the appropriate recommendations.