Preparing and cooking your own meals from scratch can be tremendously rewarding, and your creations are often both healthier and cheaper than the pre-prepared options at your local supermarket. For most elderly and/or disabled people, who have to worry about their health and their finances far more than the average person, the ability to prepare home-cooked meals can significantly improve their quality of life.
However, recipes that involve a significant amount of stovetop cookery, such as frying, boiling and sauteing, can be challenging to many elderly cooks and chefs, as the demands of staying standing while preparing, cooking and serving your ingredients can be both painful and tiring. To help you maintain your independence when it comes to stovetop cookery, manufacturers of daily living aids offer a wide range of kitchen aids specifically designed to assist with stovetop cookery and other kitchen tasks that are performed at benchtop-level:
Preparing vegetables and meats for cooking can be a particularly challenging task for many elderly stovetop chefs—unsteady hands and sharp kitchen knives are never a good combination, and slicing and dicing your ingredients while being careful not to hurt yourself can be very time-consuming and tiring. To that end, a wide variety of automatic slicers are available.
These devices come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but most consist of a sturdy container that holds a set of rotating blades. These blades can be powered by a hand crank or an electric motor, and they quickly chop your ingredients without exposing you to dangerous sharp edges. If you intend to cut meats in your automatic slicer, a powerful electric slicer is generally recommended.
At first glance, a perching stool resembles the high chairs used by babies and toddlers to sit at adult-sized tables. However, perching stools are not actually a flat seat; instead, the cushion of the stool is tilted slightly towards the front of the chair. This allows the user to adopt a position halfway between standing and sitting, keeping their upper body within reach of the stove, sink and benchtops while significantly reducing weight and pressure on the legs and feet.
These stools can be enormously helpful for reducing pain and fatigue while standing at your stove for long periods, and they are especially useful for cooking slower stovetop recipes, such as stews and poached eggs. If you intend to move your perching stool around while you cook, try to choose a lighter model, preferably one made from aluminium. Wheeled perching stools are also available and can be very useful for mobility, but you must ensure that the wheels are locked in place before you perch on them.
If problems with foot and leg pain are serious enough to cause discomfort but not bad enough to warrant a perching stool, anti-fatigue mats are a cheaper and less conspicuous option. These simple mats are made from memory foam or other cushioned materials, and their covers are waterproof and designed to be easily cleaned in the event of spills and other mishaps.
When placed in front of your stovetop and food preparation areas, these mats can make standing and walking for long periods much more comfortable. Their textured surfaces also provide extra traction for people who are less steady on their feet, and they are available in a wide variety of colours and patterns that can be matched to virtually any kitchen design.