Arthritis changes how your senior does a lot of the normal activities in their life. Cooking is one of the activities that your senior needs to do on a daily basis, but it might be one that arthritis makes exceedingly difficult to manage.
Consider Rearranging the Kitchen
The kitchen might have worked for your senior in the past, but now that they are dealing with painful, swollen joints where certain items are stored can make a big difference. Items that they don’t use often could be stored out of the way, whereas items they use often need to be easy to access. Try rearranging a few items and see how the new location works for your elderly family member.
Make Sure They Have Seating
Dealing with arthritis can be exhausting and standing on swollen joints, especially in the hips and knees, can be extremely painful, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Seating in the kitchen, like on a kitchen stool that’s easy to move around, can help a lot. It helps to have a few seating options if space allows for them.
The Tools They Use Makes a Difference
The cooking tools your elderly family member used when they didn’t have arthritis might not be as easy for them to use now. Tools with larger, more ergonomic handles give your senior something that is easier for them to grip and to manipulate. Something else that might help is using food processors or alternative choppers instead of using knives to cut up fruits and vegetables.
Double-handled Cookware Is More Stable
Pans can be heavy enough when they’re empty, but when they have food in them, they get even heavier. One solution that can help quite a bit is to use cookware that has handles on both sides of each pot and pan. This helps the cookware to be more stable when your senior is moving it from one place to another.
Bring in Senior Care Providers
When the pain is severe enough, your elderly family member may opt not to cook rather than finding alternatives. That might mean they rely on foods that aren’t healthy choices or they become malnourished. If you opt to bring in senior care providers to do the cooking for your senior, you’ll know they are eating healthy, home-cooked meals on a regular basis without causing themselves any pain.
Talk to your elderly family member about what becomes the biggest concern for them when they are having trouble cooking. There might be a sliding scale of answers that you put into place for them so that when they are feeling well, they are able to do what they can.