If Grandma has always been known for her famous apple pie and her amazing lump-free gravy, the kitchen can be your first clue when something may be amiss in her life. Taking a quick inventory, from fridge to cabinets to oven, can reveal warning signs that it may be time to bring in some help. For example, check for these kitchen concerns from Caring.com:
- Expired food items: Look for food that’s not just past its expiration date, but clearly should have been noticed and disposed of, such as moldy items and spoiled milk.
- Overabundance of items: Storing too many of the same item (such as ten boxes of the same kind of cereal) can indicate that the person is unable to recall while at the store what is needed and what there’s already plenty of.
- More frozen dinners than fresh food: If your loved one is choosing the convenience of processed frozen meals over preparing fresh ones, it may be a sign that she’s struggling with meal preparation, and is not maintaining a healthy diet.
- Non-working appliances: If there are particular broken kitchen fixtures that you know your loved one normally would use often, such as a toaster, coffee maker, or dishwasher, this could be a red flag that help is needed.
- Indications of fire: Evidence of fire-related accidents, such as scorched pans or burned pot holders, should be discussed with your loved one. Kitchen fires are a common danger for the elderly, and safety precautions should be taken immediately if you suspect this hazard in your loved one’s home.
To keep your senior loved one safe and healthy at home, partner with Heaven at Home’s in-home caregiving team. Our trained caregivers can shop for and prepare healthy meals, ensuring that dietary restrictions are adhered to, and even clean up the kitchen afterwards. We can also serve as a companion to make mealtime more enjoyable and stave away loneliness. When you’re ready to improve the safety and wellbeing of your elderly loved one through compassionate and experienced home care services, give us a call!