- Holidays and Celebrations
Gifts for the senior citizen cook
Make life easier for a senior citizen with these great Christmas gift ideas for the senior citizen cook
Life becomes more difficult as we age - it's a fact of life. But, just because your favorite senior citizen is aging doesn't mean that he or she doesn't still like to cook. That's where I come in. I am going to show you some of the best items on the market to purchase for Christmas gifts for a senior citizen cook. What's my experience? Read on.
Until February 15, 2012 when my darling mom died, I was her caregiver - 5 years worth of caregiving. Although she stopped cooking a few years ago, she loved to peruse the items at Bed, Bath, and Beyond where I'd roll her through the aisles of new products on the market. She'd always remark that the items would make life a lot easier in the kitchen - and they did as I learned when I toted our purchases home. Some of the items actually helped get her back into the kitchen which was a win-win situation as I loved having her in the kitchen, helping me.
Come read about more great gifts by reading my accompanying article: Good gifts for senior citizens - from one who knows.
Forget a large colander - get one of these scoop colanders!
When my Mom was in her late 80s and still cooking, I got nervous about her carrying a pot of boiling water to the sink to drain pasta into a traditional colander. I invested instead in a few of these scoop colanders. Mom loved them as she could scoop out her dinner right from the pot, drain the water, and add sauce into her and Dad's bowl. These are a great Christmas present for the senior citizen cook.
Bathrooms and kitchens are dangerous places for senior citizens. Make SURE your favorite senior citizen is still comfortable and safe in the kitchen before giving them items to help them cook!
Help your senior citizen cook get items off shelves with a grabber
I personally love these grabbers and own two. I have one in the kitchen and one in my bedroom to get items off the closet shelf. They're perfect for reaching behind furniture too (for dog toys or spent tissues).
I love that this kitchen reacher folds in half for easy storage. It's also very long.
Long after Mom stopped cooking, she loved licking the bowls.
Double insulated Tervis Tumblers are an ideal gift for a senior citizen cook
Up until my Mom's dying day, she loved a good cup of coffee (at all hours of the day and night...). But, as she aged, she had a hard time holding a traditional mug or coffee cup. That's how I got introduced to Tervis coffee mugs. These sturdy, plastic coffee mugs are just the right weight and, since they're double insulated, not only will they not leave condensation rings on the table, but they also will keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot longer. Any or all of the Tervis tumblers would make a great Mother's Day, Father's Day, Birthday, or Christmas gift for the senior citizen cook.
Buying 2 is always better than buying just 1
Tips to keep the senior citizen cook happy and safe in the kitchen
Besides the bathroom, the kitchen in a house holds the most dangers for senior citizens. And, when it comes to independence, a senior citizen will rarely give up cooking rights (I almost was disowned when I told Dad he could no longer drive...).
Below are some tips that i took to keep my mama cooking as long as possible. Note: I was her caregiver so I was always with her in the kitchen when she would cook.
- Put a smoke alarm near the kitchen. Yes, it will go off every time a piece of bacon is frying to a brown but, it's still worth having the alarm close.
- Buy a fire extinguisher and hook it right to the wall by the stove or buy a fire extinguisher cabinet and leave it right out in the open..
- Help your senior citizen cook re-organize the kitchen (as needed) so that items they use frequently are on handy shelves. As much as possible, keep things within a reasonable reach. You don't want a senior citizen to stretch up, bend down, or have to get on a step ladder, if you can help it. Consider hanging some of the every day utensils your senior citizen cook will need.
- Make a date with your favorite senior citizen cook to cook together. Perhaps a rainy Saturday afternoon would be a great time to cook spaghettin and noodles, make a pot of chicken soup, or saute some shrimp in garlic/butter sauce and put it over angel hair pasta. Cook more than you know they'll need so you can vacuum seal the leftovers into future meals.
- Make sure that the knives that are in the kitchen are sharpened regularly. Dull knives lead to kitchen accidents.
- Check the handles and the general condition of the pots and pans (thanks, Virginia!) to make sure that they're still steadfast. Do this every year, especially if those pots and pans are antiques.
- An electric stove would be much safer than a gas one. I know it might be out of the question to replace the range, but it might be worth it. In fact, try to get your elderly cook to use a microwave instead of the stove.
- Check that curtains or hanging dish towels are well out of the way of an open flame.
Oxo Good Grips Kitchen Utensils - Perfect for a senior citizen cook
Oxo Good Grips kitchen utensils all come with a soft grip which is very easy to hold, especially for arthritic hands. I've found that the Good Grips line also is top quality as I own quite a few of these kitchen utensils.
I use this pastry scraper/chopper to scoop up garlic and onions from a cutting board too.
I'm left handed so the swivel on this Good Grips peeler works very well for me too.
How many times have you had trouble opening a jar? No longer...
These grips make it much easier to use measuring spoons.
Senior Citizen favorite meal ideas
I became quite adept at finding interesting recipes to cook for Mom. As she aged, I made a lot of comfort foods from her childhood, such as macaroni and cheese, potato pancakes, and even baked bread like challah.
Here's some links to help you come up with ideas of dishes to serve or prepare with your senior citizen cook.
- Dessert shooters
Mom's appetite waned the last few years but her sweet tooth didn't. So, I came up with a bunch of ideas for making mini desserts. Here's some!
- Key Lime Pie dessert shooters
Mom loved citrus so these key lime pie dessert shooters were perfect to top off dinner.
- Mini desserts in shot glasses
Here's some more ideas for delicious desserts for your senior citizen cook.
- Low sodium chicken pot pies
I developed this recipe when Mom's doctor told me to cut back her salt intake. By the way, I used my vacuum sealer to seal these chicken pot pie muffin sized portions. They lasted for months in the freezer.
- A low sodium fried chicken recipe
This was another of Mom's favorite recipes. Fried chicken but made lighter and less saltier.
- Tips on adapting recipes for a low sodium diet
This is a good article if you're just starting to cook for a low sodium diet. Low sodium doesn't mean low flavor.
- Chocolate dessert recipes
Chocolate is always a great alternative for dessert.
- Macaroni and cheese on cooks.com
I make my mac and cheese differently than this recipe but this is still yummy.
- Challah bread
Challah is a staple of a Jewish family and Mom's family was no different. My grandmother made Challah every Thursday so it was ready for Friday night.
I love to read the comments from my readers - I almost always learn something. Please let me know you stopped by.