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kitchen safety issues
Posted: Monday, October 7, 2019 1:20 PM
Joined: 3/7/2018
Posts: 6

I searched the archives, and there are a lot of entries concerning kitchen safety so its rather hard to wade through.  Has anyone on here had a shut-off valve installed for a gas stove?  Gas oven?  Or other solutions short of replacing gas with electric?  My mother's short term memory is gone, but her intelligence... her ability to find solutions... is still fairly good (for example, if I remove the knobs, I think she'd get pliers out to try to turn the stem of the burner controls, or call a repairman).
Posted: Monday, October 7, 2019 3:22 PM
Joined: 10/9/2014
Posts: 890

In the beginning. with my LO I would turn the circuit breakers off for the stove/oven, washer, dryer, and dishwasher. but, it became clear pretty early that at a certain point, it's really necessary to have the PWD directly supervised, if they are going to do anything in the kitchen at all.  When there is decline in judgment and reduced memory, it's just not safe for them to have access to electrical items like micro wave, coffee maker, etc.  It's not just the risk of fire, but, of them burning themselves.  This was what I concluded as I managed her care.  I also removed all knives, scissors and sharp utensils from the kitchen.
Posted: Monday, October 7, 2019 7:26 PM
Joined: 10/12/2018
Posts: 88

My mom had an electric stove - they're not safe either.    The hot electric burner will light up the dish towels and pot holders almost as quickly as the gas flame.   And the stuffing inside some pot holders will melt into a bubbling hot gel that causes nasty burns.
Eric L
Posted: Tuesday, October 8, 2019 1:40 AM
Joined: 12/5/2014
Posts: 1250

I’d honestly take the knobs off to see if she is actually able to find a solution. I would suspect that she probably won’t find a solution as readily as you might imagine. In the earlier stages, we tend to think our LOs are far more capable than they actually are.
MN Chickadee
Posted: Tuesday, October 8, 2019 10:12 AM
Joined: 9/7/2014
Posts: 954

Are you sure there in't a shut off back there? Unless it is very very old it should have one. These days they are a popsicle stick shaped arm, and it's off when it's perpendicular to the pipe. If there is not one, that would not be a difficult or lengthy job for a professional. They would pull the stove out, shut off the gas further down the line like in the basement, and install a shut off on the pipe. 

And think about other issues you may need to get ahead of to avoid a disaster. Will she use a metal pan in the microwave, leave a coffee pot on etc.

Posted: Wednesday, October 9, 2019 10:29 AM
Joined: 3/12/2017
Posts: 68

Oh Jane, I am SO with you.  We had this same problem, but with a hobby shop.  Without supervision, the situation became as or more dangerous than the original problem.  He turned circuit breakers back on, fixed disabled table saws, (got on the phone to order new parts for that one) and when I padlocked the door he got a crow bar and pried the latch off.  The final thing was him dragging out a twelve foot ladder to fix a 220 volt conduit that we'd had severed to cut off the power. Looking back, we were lucky he didn't get seriously hurt while we tried to fix the problem. My point is that, sadly, when a person has retained effective problem solving skills but lacks memory or good judgment, 24/7 supervision is the solution.  I wound up moving in with my Dad as he also had skills to deal with caregivers(!).  It's so frustrating for everyone.  Good luck, just know you have many people here who know and care about what you're going through.
Posted: Friday, October 11, 2019 4:14 PM
Joined: 3/7/2018
Posts: 6

I probably need to update my profile, as about 3 months ago I relocated and moved in with my parents.  I work Mon- Fri, and have hired someone to be at the house supervising for several hours that emcompasses the lunch time, and I am home in time for supper prep.  I don't think this arrangement will work much longer, as now that I am there, I am realizing that we do have some potential safety issues beyond the meal times.  The gas stove is a "built in", surrounded by counter, so I cannot get to the back (or any part) easily.  

My brother and I are meeting this weekend to discuss mom's long term care policy.  The wrinkle may be that my dad doesnt have long term care insurance... only my mom (the thought of my parents many years ago when they made that choice was that she is 12 years younger than him, and that SHE was his "long term care" insurance).  I am interested in home health care, but don't know how this will impact their daily life... and of course, the inability I assume of a home health care professional to do anything for him.  It gets sticky, especially since my now 98-year-old dad's mind is sharp and he will resent someone in his home all day....  he is having a very hard time accepting the changes in my mom, and sometimes takes his frustrations out on her.  Yet, they would not want to be apart...  it would break each of their hearts at this juncture.  

As everyone on here knows this disease is so very cruel.  However, as I read your thoughts on this, and as I type this, it helps get my thoughts together that my brother and I will have to make some hard choices concerning this situation.  My dad will be resentful and heartbroken whatever we choose, and my mom will be confused and heartbroken either way.  Safety MUST come first.   

Eric L
Posted: Friday, October 11, 2019 9:27 PM
Joined: 12/5/2014
Posts: 1250

I was going to tell you that you can always unplug the electric pilot, but then I realized it isn’t a very good option either. Filling the house with natural gas isn’t a good solution.
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