Dementia is a devastating condition, causing a lot of stress and upset for both the person suffering from it and their family. To make it a little bit easier to deal with, it's good if the patient can spend as long as possible living in their own home. Familiarity can make someone more comfortable and happier than if they're immediately moved to a care home.
As soon as possible, however, it's a good idea to arrange a few alterations. This makes life easier and reduces the chance of accidents. The kitchen, in particular, is a room that can be both dangerous and difficult, so consider some of these changes.
Keep dangerous items out of the way
Kitchens are full of dangerous items, like knives and other sharp cooking equipment. Don't forget that glassware can easily break and become sharp, too.
It's best to keep these items safely out of the way, preferably in a locked cupboard. If there's no lockable cupboard in the kitchen, you can either have a new one fitted or add a lock to an existing one.
Alongside anything sharp or potentially sharp, you should lock away cleaning products and other chemical-based liquids.
Reduce the risk of falls
Falling is quite common among dementia patients, but nowhere is it more dangerous than in the kitchen. With flames and hot liquids around, a fall can result in serious burns. It's also more likely for people to stumble as they move around preparing food or drinks.
The best way to make falling less likely is to add some handrails. These rails are particularly important wherever the person is likely to be moving, or in spots where they'll be standing for long periods.
You should also remove any mats with loose edges, which can easily cause trips. If there are any steps, converting them to ramps is often safer.
Make things easier to reach
Once you've got dangerous items out of the way, you should check that everything else can be found and reached easily.
This may involve lowering cupboards so that less stretching is needed to get to them. If the dementia patient is having difficulty finding what they need, colour-coding cupboards often helps them remember where things are stored.
Get control of hazardous equipment
Ovens, stoves and kettles are extremely dangerous when they're used by someone with dementia. Small appliances can be removed and locked away, but fitted items are trickier.
You can get lockable safety covers for oven controls, but sometimes you can simply remove the knobs and put them back when they're needed.
Seek extra advice
If you want to make sure you've adapted the kitchen for any possible hazards, it's helpful to get an professional's opinion. The risk of missing something important is a serious one, so don't be afraid to ask a company with experience in in-home age care for help.Share