A Guide to Senior Safety in the Kitchen

grandma doll

Updated for 2018 

Modern seniors want to age in place, living in their homes as long as possible. Here at Alert1 medical alert systems we are strong supporters of the aging in place movement. The key to successful aging in place is preparation. Your home needs to support your changing needs.

The kitchen is one of the most dangerous rooms in your home. Improper ventilation can make you dizzy and prone to lose your balance. Reaching for the top shelf while standing on a slippery floor can have disastrous consequences. But the biggest danger comes from your stove. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries.

Aging in place doesn’t have to be dangerous. Your home should be a place of safety and comfort. Make some preparations now to keep your kitchen safe as you age. These simple modifications will minimize your risk of injury.

Prevent Fires

senior couple eating dinner
  • Install a monitored smoke detector.  A monitored smoke detector works with your senior medical alert system to protect both you and your home. This smoke detector will not only sound an alarm if there is a fire, it will also call you and the fire department.  Your home will be safe, even when you’re not around.
  •  Keep flammable objects away from the stove. The area around your stove should stay clear. Double-check the area before cooking. Towels and napkins should stay in their holders and any nearby curtains should be fireproof.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Keep a fire extinguisher close by and know how to properly use it. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. If you have a small fire on your stove, use baking soda or a pot lid to smother it.

Prevent Falls

seniors making salad
  • Install plentiful lighting. A dimly lit kitchen is a recipe for disaster. Make sure you have ample lighting to avoid spills, tripping, and even adding the wrong ingredients to a recipe! Abundant lighting next to the stove is especially important.
  • Add non-slip mats. Areas below the sink and the dishwasher are prone to spills that you may not see. Reduce your risk of falls with non-slip mats in these areas. Choose a padded mat to reduce back pain while washing dishes.
  • Keep floors clear. Stick down rugs with curled up corners. Organize your power cords by tucking them behind counters and appliances. This will keep your kitchen tidy while keeping you safe.
  • Do not leave cabinets and drawers open. Open cabinets and drawers can leave painful bruises of you run into them. Play it safe and make a habit of closing everything you open. 

Make Life Easier

steaming pot on stove
  • Keep essentials within reach. Don’t make a habit of standing on chairs and climbing to reach things. Keep everything you need within reach to avoid back injuries and endless searching through cupboards.
  • Store heavy items at waist level.  Heavy items are easy to drop when trying to get them down from high shelves. Items down low present a risk for straining your back.  Keep heavier items at waist level where they are easy to access.
  • Get an automatic medication dispenser. An automatic medication dispenser means you will never have to worry about missing a dose again. It releases your pills when you need them throughout the day so you will never take the wrong dose at the wrong time.
  • Install an automatic stove shut-off. This smart technology monitors movement and will turn off your stove if you leave it unattended. An alert is sent to a loved one if the stove is unattended too long. This helps prevent accidental fires.
  • Install a Lazy Susan. This brilliant invention is perfect for storing many items and gives easy access to them. On the counter or in a cabinet, a Lazy Susan is the perfect accessible kitchen accessory. Just rotate it and any item will be within easy reach.    


At Alert1, we want you to age in place comfortably and safely. Minor modifications can mean the difference between safely cooking and a fall. Plan ahead and make changes to your home before an injury occurs. Incorporating these tips into your daily life can give a sense of security and eliminate any worries you may have. Keep your kitchen safe and enjoy aging in place like you deserve.