Caregiving is difficult enough without the added stress and worries about preventable tragedies. One particular area of concern is fire safety, especially for seniors with dementia. According to the USFA, adults over 65 years of age are 2.5X more likely to die in a fire, and the risk increases as they grow older.
The majority of home fires begin in the kitchen (nearly 50%), but your care recipient may love to cook and refuse to give it up just yet. So what do you do?
Here are some fire-prevention tips to keep them safe:
- Make sure smoke alarms are working.
- A fire extinguisher should be placed nearby and checked regularly; here is what to look for when checking the extinguisher.
- If the care recipient has been living in the same home for a while, it’s likely the electrical system may be older and more likely to start a fire. Have a licensed electrician check for any issues.
- Store smaller appliances away and unplug larger ones. Check for frayed or worn cords and plugs regularly and that the appliances work properly. If necessary, look for appliances or safety outlets that have an automatic shut-off feature.
- Monitor smoking as well as candle usage; your safest bet is to use flameless candles if needed.
- Remove stove knobs or install knob covers.
- Use burner covers or put an aluminum cover over the top.
- Install a shut-off valve for gas stoves or replace the pilot with an electric starter.
- Lock the oven door.
- Switch off the electric stove’s circuit breaker whenever you leave. However, circuit breakers are not made to be flipped often and may break.
How the Stove Alert Monitor Can Help:
You might find some of the above stovetop tips unnecessary, especially if the care recipient is still independent. Cooking is a great activity that may just need a little more supervision as your loved one ages and gets more forgetful. Don’t forget that taking seniors cooking rights away can also accelerate their deterioration and have an adverse impact on their mental well-being, especially if they always enjoyed it.
A new technological solution has just been released to help, the Wallflower Stove Alert Monitor for electric plug-in stoves. Just plug in the stove’s power cord into the stove monitor and download the app. Anyone with an Apple or Android smartphone or tablet (you, a helper, and perhaps even your care recipient) will receive notifications every time the stove is turned on, is turned off and when it’s been on for longer than necessary. Wallflower is a simple and convenient way to keep an eye on the stove and help keep your loved one and home safer.
Spending some time making sure the kitchen is ready and safe against fire will help ease any caregiver’s mind. Learn more about Wallflower by clicking here.