Ways of Making Your Kitchen Senior Safe
Childhood memories of being in Grandma’s kitchen.
Do you remember the aroma of freshly baked cookies coming out of the oven. Trying to sneak some of the raw cookie dough as an appetizer was certainly a must for any youngster. One’s own Grandma may have not given thought ways of making your kitchen senior safe. An example, eating raw eggs is risky. With Senior citizens making a kitchen senior safe is critical. The importance grows as they age A caregiver is the gateway to good health however they should start with the basic knowledge of kitchen as well as food safety.
How to making Your Kitchen Senior Safe
Times are a changing. One can safely say that the world moves much faster today. This being said, medication is more advanced than ever before. Life expectenacy is on the rise. The last decade has brought forth many medical miracles. In 2001, the Internet was a brand new novel item. Now,, it’s a modern necessity for daily live. Keeping this in mind, if 10 years can change things, what is going to be discovered in the next decade? Family members are living into their 80s or 90s, People need to make their kitchen senior friendly to avoid accidents and promote the Best Quality of life.
The way food is prepared is with hand-in-hand with technology.
Scientific advances have shown that new and dangerous bacteria and viruses can be found in foods; these microorganisms were not even known years ago. Food modification, mass production and mass distribution have led people away from homegrown, fresh vegetables and meat, leading almost all to rely on others, even those long distances away, to provide for their daily nutritional needs.
Science has identified illnesses that can come from food, as well as ways people in the later years of life are more susceptible to contracting foodborne health issues. A caregiver has the responsibility to know and respect the way a loved one used to live, while teaching and helping them understand the way they must live to be healthy today.
Special Risks for Seniors
Foodborne illness, also known as food poisoning, can be serious, even fatal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year 76 million people fall ill, 325,000 are hospitalized, and 5,000 die from food-related infections and illness in the United States. Many of these victims are very young, very old, or have weakened immune systems, unable to fight infection normally.
Seniors have are grouped into the “women as well as children” group.
As you age you are able to catch germs easier and also for them to stay around longer. Getting older will lead to, changes in your own body. One of the changes will be the slowing down of food digestion. Senior’s stomachs and intestinal tracts will begin to process the foods slower. This being said, seniors also have a liver and kidneys that have slowed in getting rid of body of toxins. This can even effect the senior’s sense of taste and smell. If one is to add in to the natural effects of aging, it can be a crisis waiting to happen.
Seniors suffer from things like AIMM’s (Age Induced Medication Mistakes) , all chronic illnesses, and medications, and the unwelcome addition of food poisoning can become very serious very fast. Vigilance when handling, preparing and consuming foods is important for a loved one to have. For caregivers, awareness and education are crucial.
Are You Sick?
Teaching a loved one when to recognize they are experiencing a negative reaction to food will help identify the problem after the fact. First, caregivers must understand that there is a wide range of time that can pass between eating food with harmful bacteria and the onset of symptoms.
Usually, foodborne illness takes one to three days to develop. The common assumption is that it’s caused by a person’s last meal. This may be true, but not necessarily. There are many factors to consider, including the type of bacteria which was in the affected food. The range of time could be from 20 minutes to 6 weeks, at extreme circumstances. Even then, it’s possibly a different illness. Some common symptoms of food poisoning are feeling sick to the stomach, vomiting or diarrhea. Others could be flu-like, including a fever as well as head and body aches. Professionals suggest a caregiver check with their loved one’s doctor if they suspect food is to blame for an illness.
It used to be all foods were grown at home. Today’s younger generations are trying to return to a semblance of that lifestyle; but for most, climate and convenience will never leave them completely independent for all food. Many elderly loved ones will remember the days gone by when they ate the same potato they dug the hole in the ground for and planted months prior. There was no need to worry about exactly where food came from. Because of this, a loved one may have a greater trust for food than the rest of society, or greater distrust.
It can be easy to simply trust that the food served at a restaurant is suitable for consumption. Each person should learn to be their own advocate and a senior loved one is no exception. They may be experiencing an age-related dulling of the senses, minimizing their ability to recognize an unsafe situation. As at home, don’t eat raw or undercooked food. Make sure hot meals are hot and if the food is not cooked properly, encourage a loved one to speak up and send it back. It’s better to be safe than worry about “hurting someone’s feelings.”
The trend in restaurants today is leaning toward large meal portions. Many seniors end up packing the leftovers to take home. The FDA advises that if the leftover food will not be refrigerated within two hours of leaving the restaurant, it’s safer to leave it there. Some senior centers across the country won’t even allow food to be taken home because they know of the dangers when food is left sitting out too long.
The FDA offers a list of foods seniors are advised to avoid:
Raw fin fish and shellfish, including oysters, clams, mussels, and scallops;
Hot dogs and luncheon meats, unless they are reheated until steaming hot;
Raw or unpasteurized milk or soft cheeses (such as Feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined, and Mexican-style cheese) unless they are labeled as made with pasteurized milk;
Refrigerated pates or meat spreads; (Canned or shelf-stable pates and meat spreads may be eaten.)
Refrigerated smoked seafood unless it is contained in a cooked dish, such as a casserole; (Canned or shelf-stable smoked seafood may be eaten.)
Raw or lightly cooked egg or egg products containing raw eggs such as salad dressings, cookie or cake batter, sauces, and beverages such as eggnog; (Foods made from commercially pasteurized eggs are safe to eat.)
Raw meat or poultry
Raw sprouts (alfalfa, clover, and radish); and
Unpasteurized or untreated fruit or vegetable juice.
Become a Better Shopper
Reading labels is becoming more and more essential for all age groups. Many people have adverse affects from the ingredient MSG, especially those in the senior community. The other labels to look for are the open dates on raw foods such as meats, eggs and dairy products. Most important are the “sell by,” “best if used by,” and “use by” dates. Caregivers can teach their loved one how to read these labels and also check refrigerators to ensure food has not gone bad and poses a problem for bacteria growth.
Raw meat, poultry and seafood should also be placed in a separate plastic bag, so the juices do not leak onto other groceries. Buy only pasteurized milk, cheese and other dairy products. Teach a loved one to buy only eggs from the refrigerated section of the store, and check canned goods for dents, cracks or bulging lids.
With a few small tricks and tips, a caregiver can encourage a loved one to eat good, nutritious meals safely.