The kitchen is an extremely important room in the home. This is where your parent’s meals and snacks are prepared, and often this is considered the heart of the home, where family and friends spend time together. This room can also be potentially dangerous for your aging parent, especially when it isn’t clean.
Germs, spills, and more can create a hazardous situation, which makes it extremely important for you as a family caregiver to take the necessary steps to keep their kitchen clean and healthy at all times. While this can sound overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be an intimidating prospect. There are simple ways you can handle this task and keep the kitchen cleaner and healthier as they age in place.
Some ways to make keeping your parent’s kitchen clean and healthy simpler include:
- Clean up all spills immediately, and be sure to use a product designed to kill germs, such as one with bleach. This will help to reduce the risk of foodborne infections. Read the label of any chemicals you plan to use to determine if you need to rinse the surface after use.
- Keep the drains clean and disinfect them regularly to eliminate germ-filled contaminants such as mold and food particles. Pour a combination of baking soda, epsom salts, and citric acid into the drain, add lemon juice and vinegar, and then follow with boiling water after the bubbling slows. This will help to prevent serious clogs that will be much more difficult to clean out.
- Ensure any leftovers or open food put in the refrigerator are well-wrapped or contained. This is important not just to keep that food healthy, but also to prevent any leakage from them to get onto other food, possibly causing cross-contamination.
- Always put new groceries into the back of the refrigerator so older products are used first. This helps reduce waste and lowers the chances of food leaking or spoiling, and potentially leading to infections or illness.
Getting into the kitchen and cooking or baking is a fantastic way for your aging parent to stimulate their mind to improve their mental and emotional health and well-being, as well as supporting cognitive functioning. A caregiver can encourage your parent to do this more often, while also helping to keep them safe and healthy while they do it.
Cooking with their elderly home care services provider can stimulate your parent’s memory as they talk about their favorite recipes and what they remember about enjoying them with their family, encourage stronger and faster cognitive processing through tasks such as measuring and following the steps of a recipe, and give them an opportunity to connect with their care provider and receive beneficial social stimulation.
Along with helping your parent grocery shop, encouraging them to make good life choices about what they are eating, and offering reminders to follow dietary instructions from their doctor, this is just one of the wide variety of highly personalized care tasks available from cargiver services your parent can benefit from as they age in place.