What Does Your Aging Loved One's Kitchen Say About Their Health?

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Kitchens Play Role in Determining Senior Care Needs

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It’s never easy to face the reality that your aging parent or loved one needs help. You may overlook their unkempt physical appearance or lack of housekeeping due to the natural aging process, which limits them from getting around to everything. However, not coming to terms with the situation at hand and neglecting possible problems can put your loved one at increased risk, both physically and emotionally, over the long run.

If you are concerned that your loved one needs help with activities of daily living, use the kitchen to affirm your concerns. Yes, you heard us right, the kitchen! With our years of experience providing home care, Albuquerque families can rely on, we’ve found that an exploration through this room of the home can reveal valuable information about the person who uses it.

First, pay attention to the overall cleanliness of the kitchen. If dishes have piled up in the sink and nothing seems to be in its proper place, your loved one may not be able to perform routine household chores. Consider the difficulty of each chore in relation to their health and physical limitations, as well as their ability to perform the task. This will help you better gauge if they need a little help at home or if you simply caught them on a bad day.

Next, check the refrigerator. If it’s nearly empty, this may indicate that your loved one is rarely going to the grocery store. This could be the result of numerous reasons ranging from the inability to drive or simply forgetting that a trip to the grocery store is needed. The opposite may also be a problem. Look for stale or expired food, as well as indications that food items have clearly gone unnoticed such as mold, sour milk, or far passed expiration dates.

As you go through the refrigerator and cabinets, also take note of multiples of the same item. While it is normal to have a surplus of regularly eaten foods such as pasta, soup or canned vegetables, extreme multiples such as dozens of boxes of cereal can indicate that a senior is unable to recall what they purchased from one trip to the grocery store to the next. This can indicate an even more serious problem and should be talked about with a doctor or Albuquerque Alzheimer’s care specialist.

Finally, check the pots and pans for signs of scorching. This could indicate that your loved one is not properly monitoring food on the stove. Also, examine the burners on the stove for signs of pots boiling over and look at potholders to see if there are burned edges. Because we all know that accidents happen, if you notice that something is burned, ask your loved one for the full story.

Just because your aging parent or loved one need a little help at home, doesn’t mean they must move into an assisted living facility. Part-time hourly care in Albuquerque is available to seniors, allowing them to receive help at home on an as needed basis with daily chores, personal care, transportation and more. To find out more about flexible senior care plans, contact Home Care Assistance of Albuquerque at 505-798-0800 and schedule your complimentary, no obligation consultation today.

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