Whether you’re a culinary whiz or a kitchen nightmare, you’ll probably need a helping hand with certain jobs as you get older. Thankfully, there are lots of helpful kitchen gadgets for elderly and/or disabled people. If your elderly parent could do with a hand, you’re in luck. We’re sharing 10 of the most helpful, affordable kitchen gadgets money can buy. Let’s dive in.
1 – Kettle Tipper
Here in the UK, we all love a good cuppa. However, as we age, some of us might struggle to lift a heavy kettle. This can often lead to nasty scalds or burns when things go wrong. A kettle tipper is the perfect solution. This simple device is like a cradle of sorts, which sits on a tipping hinge. It means you do not have to lift the kettle up and bear its weight. Instead, all the user needs to do is position their mug below the spout and tilt the kettle using the tipper. This takes the danger out of your morning tea or coffee and reduces strain on muscles and joints – perfect for those with arthritis.
There are a variety of models available at different prices. Simple plastic/wire versions start at around £10. If don’t mind splashing out, you can buy an integrated kettle and tipper for around £50.
2 – Vegetable Chopper
Nowadays, it’s easy to find pre-chopped produce on supermarket shelves. However, these options are often pricier or don’t last as long. If your loved one struggles with slicing and chopping, a vegetable chopper could be just what they need. Most choppers feature a grid of sharp blades over a plastic container, with a lid that raises up on a hinge. To chop a potato, for example, just cut it in half and place the flat side on top of the blades. Then bring the hinged lid down and apply pressure to push the potato through the blades. Voila! Neatly diced vegetables, ready to cook a tasty, nutritious meal.
You should expect to pay around £10-£30 for a good vegetable chopper. Most models can be taken apart for cleaning, so it’s worth bearing in mind how easy this will be for your parent. If the pieces look too small or fiddly, keep shopping around. We’d recommend shopping online as this will give you the widest range of kitchen gadgets and aids for elderly people.
3 – Non-Slip Chopping Board
For those with reduced grip or limited mobility in one or both hands, a non-slip chopping board is really a must. Otherwise, preparing food puts you at risk of nasty injuries.
When shopping for a non-slip chopping board, you should consider the size of board you need, its weight (make sure that the intended user can lift it with ease), and any other features you would like. For example, some models have raised edges to prevent food from falling off the side. Others have a dropped edge on one side, so that you can position it against the edge of your worktop to prevent slippage. Some have built-in trays to collect food once it has been chopped.
4 – Electric Can Opener
These handy devices are fairly commonplace already. If you buy one for your elderly parent, chances are they will never look back. You can choose between a free-standing version or a smaller hands-free opener which sits on top of the can.
Free-standing options tend to be a little pricier, but might feel more sturdy to the user. They need to be plugged into the mains power in order to work. You can pick one up for as little as £20.
Hands-free versions are generally cheaper and don’t take up valuable space on the worktop. However, most do require batteries, so you could end up spending more in the long run. They tend to cost around £12-£15.
5 – Household Trolley
A wheeled trolley with one or more shelves could be a godsend for an older person who struggles with balance or grip. While it might not be a strictly kitchen-related, trolleys are on our list of kitchen gadgets because they reduce an older person’s risk of falling while cooking. Of course, you can hold onto it for balance when walking around. In addition, once you’ve finished preparing your meal, you can place the plate onto the trolley and walk safely from the kitchen to the table. Often, someone who is unsteady on their feet would be more likely to fall when concentrating on carrying something (like a hot plate of food). By eliminating this extra concern, you reduce the fall risk.
Household trolleys come in metal and wooden varieties, starting at around £40.
6 – Easy Jar Opener
Every now and then, we all come across that pesky jar that just won’t open! But if your elderly parent is struggling more often, particularly if they suffer from reduced grip or arthritis in their hands – this will be one of the more useful kitchen gadgets money can buy. There are lots of different versions available, varying in simplicity and price. Depending on their size, some openers can also help with unscrewing tightly-sealed bottles.
Firstly, a simple rubber or silicone dome-shaped opener works by enhancing the user’s grip. These often have ridged interior surfaces to increase friction. This kind of jar opener also tends to be very lightweight, compared to other more sophisticated versions. They are also the cheapest – you can buy one for around £4.
Next, there are versions with multiple openings of different sizes, intended to fit over various jar lids. These work by providing a lever-like mechanism, which means that less force is required to open the jar. These are also very lightweight and cheap, coming in at around £5. Some also feature hooks to assist the user with ring-pull cans, which can be tricky for those with limited use of their hands.
7 – Long-Reach Grabber
It’s important to keep your most-used kitchen items within easy reach, as reaching up or bending down can often lead to a fall. However, what if you simply don’t have enough storage space and you need to use low-down cupboards or high-up shelves? That’s where a long-reach grabber will come in handy. It’s a simple tool with a pincer-like grabber on the end, that you operate by squeezing the handle.
This is such a versatile kitchen gadget for elderly and disabled people – it can give you full use of your whole kitchen once again, but it can also come in handy in plenty of other rooms too! Dropped the television remote? No problem! Reaching for a jumper at the bottom of your wardrobe? Easy!
8 – Cooking Basket
A pan full of boiling water is a serious kitchen hazard. For elderly people with reduced grip strength, the risks are even greater. Lifting a heavy pan of hot water from the hob to the sink is when burns and injuries can happen very easily. A stainless steel cooking basket takes away the need to carry a pot full of boiling water. Just place the basket in the pan, cook your food inside it, then lift it out of the pan for easy draining once it’s cooked.
Then you can leave the pan on the hob to cool down and empty it with no risk of scalding.
9 – Perching Stool
For anyone who has difficulty standing for long periods of time, a stool is a must for the kitchen. It lets elderly and/or disabled cooks take the weight off their feet while preparing their food. Choose one with height-adjustable legs to ensure you’ll be at the perfect height for your kitchen worktops. Make sure the legs also have rubberised tips to prevent slips.
10 – Ring Pull Opener
Opening cans with ring pull lids can be nigh-on impossible for someone with arthritis, Parkinson’s, or any similar conditions. A ring pull opener is a simple tool that slides underneath the ring pull. You can then use the tool as a lever to lift the lid off any can with ease. This means no more strain, no need to touch the sharp edges of a can or lid, and no more battles with the baked beans! This is one of the most affordable kitchen gadgets for elderly people – we found one on Amazon for as little as £2.20!
Give the Gift of Peace of Mind
Once you’ve found the right kitchen gadgets for your elderly parent, why not consider a Careline alarm? This life-saving system offers 24/7 peace of mind, reassuring you and your loved one that help is always at hand. In the event of an emergency such as a fall or other injury, the alarm user can press their pendant button. This triggers a call to our Care Team, who will assess the situation and send help immediately.
Alternatively, if you prefer, you can order your Careline alarm online with ease.
Note: updated 04/08/2021