If the time has come for you to bring your parents home, it's also time to make sure that your home is safe for them. The kitchen is one area of the house that can present specific hazards for your parents, especially if they are suffering from the beginning stages of dementia, or memory loss. To help prevent kitchen fires, here are three safety precautions you should take now that your aging parents are moving in with you.
Install a Monitoring Device
If your parents are still able to care for themselves to a certain extent, you want to allow them some independence in the kitchen. A stove top monitoring device, such as from I Guard Fire, will allow them to have that continued independence, without increasing the potential hazards. Stove top monitoring devices can be programmed to allow specific cook times. Once the time has lapsed, the stove will turn off, preventing accidental fires. The monitoring device can also be programmed to prevent the stove from being turned on during specific times. This is beneficial if you don't want your parents to cook while you're away, or you're worried that they'll try to turn the stove on in the middle of the night. If your parents tend to walk away, and leave the stove on, the monitoring device can be programmed to shut the stove off once movement is no longer detected in the kitchen.
Put Coffee Pots on Timers
If your parents like to prepare their own coffee, you want to make sure that they don't leave the coffee maker on for too long. Allowing the coffee maker to overheat can lead to accidental fires. One way to prevent that is to install a timer for your coffee maker. This will ensure that coffee is prepared for your parents at the right time, and that the coffee maker shuts off on its own.
Equip the Kitchen with Extinguishers
Regardless of how careful you are about setting up the safety precautions in your kitchen, accidents can still happen. Now that you're elderly parents will be living with you, it's important that you prepare for those possible accidents. One way to do that is to keep at least one fire extinguisher in your kitchen at all times. Be sure that the fire extinguisher you choose is a multi-purpose extinguisher. This will ensure that you have the proper equipment to extinguish any type of fire your parents may start.