Looking for any updates about a dementia friendly toaster

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Dementia Talking Point' started by Lynfid, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. Lynfid

    Lynfid New member

    Jun 25, 2019
    1
    Hi,
    I've just joined this forum as I'm looking for information about a dementia friendly toaster for my mum.
    Mum was diagnosed a couple of years ago now, she's still managing at home and has carers three times a day to help her. The problem is over the last two weeks the smoke alarm has been set off twice by her burning toast. She has an alarm system linked to a care line and as they were unable to speak to her (because she couldn't hear them due to the alarm) the fire brigade were called out. The first time I was able to get a neighbour over to check on her but it was too late to cancel the call. After the first time I put tape over the controls and set it at the right temperature but she has obviously popped it down again causing it to burn. I suppose really the only toaster that would be safe would be one with a smoke detector attached to it. Is there such a one available ? I can't find one. The only other alternative is to take it off her or just for her to have toast when the carers are there to supervise. I don't want to take her independence away as she probably eats toast and sandwiches the most but I really don't want her to be a nuisance to the emergency services. Any advice welcome ? ?
    Thanks !
     
  2. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    2,682
    Nottinghamshire
    Hello @Lynfid welcome to DTP.

    I’m afraid that I never found any appliances that were dementia friendly when my dad got to the stage of not understanding how to use them safely. The only thing I can suggest is to turn the toaster up slightly so that your mum doesn’t feel the need to toast it twice and then, as you have done, tape or maybe even superglue the control knob. To be honest I think it would be safer to get rid of the toaster though. Would your mum accept those packets of pre-cooked french toast instead?

    As my dad became gradually less able to prepare food for himself I had to leave him food that didn’t require cooking - sandwiches, salad and pork pies.
    He seemed to quickly lose his cooking skills and became entirely reliant on me or his carers.

    If you do have remove the toaster it won’t be you who’s taking away her independence it’s the dementia.
     
  3. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,340
    Female
    #3 Sirena, Jun 25, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
    I'm afraid I think you mother's toast-making days are over.

    One of the first obvious signs of my mother's dementia was her constant burning of toast. She used the eye-level grill, and she would put the bread on a plate, put it under the grill, burn the toast and crack the plate. One evening she put a crumpet under the grill, forgot she'd done it, set off the smoke alarm and had no idea why it was happening. She ran out to the next door neighbour who had already heard the alarm and went in, switched off grill and alarm, and rang me.

    She refused to use a toaster, but i am willing to bet that would have been equally problematic. The only answer for my mother was for her carers to remove all the knobs from the cooker so that only they could use it. That allowed her to stay at home (with daily carers) for a further year.

    I think it'll have to be sandwiches from now on.

    (Edit - after the crumpet incident, I had a look at the Linkline smoke alarm service but it required a nearby contact if a fire brigade callout was to be avoided. I lived 2.5 hours away and didn't want to ask a neighbour to volunteer for what could be a regular occurrence. Removing the cooker knobs sorted it out and she didn't seem to miss the toast!)
     
  4. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,643
    Female
    South coast
    Hi @Lynfid

    To be honest, if your mum cant work out how to use an electric toaster and keeps popping the toast back down again, then I really think that her toast making days are over. I guess its sandwiches, cake and other snacks that dont need cooking now.
     
  5. Rosettastone57

    Rosettastone57 Registered User

    Oct 27, 2016
    851
    As others have said, there isn't such an appliance. Once my mother-in-law was at that stage, the carers supervised or did it for her . In fact she would never been able to learn anything knew,if we had changed appliances.
     
  6. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    18,595
    Male
    North Manchester
    As well as the problem with setting of smoke alarms there is another.

    When switched on at the socket and the knob is pushed down to enable bread to be inserted the heating element is connected to the mains.

    Inserting a metal knife into the slot and contacting the element will probable blow the fuse as the knife will also be in contact with the earthed edge of the slot.

    If it's a double toaster and the knife is put into the empty slot contact with the edge may not be made.

    A PWD may also push the knob down with no bread inserted and probe around with a knife to fix a problem, e.g. toast burning.

    Depending on which part of the element is contacted the person could connect to the full mains voltage.

    With a modern 30mA RCD in the consumer unit this should not be fatal.
    It will however cause the person to jolt potentially loosing balance and falling.
     
  7. Jaded'n'faded

    Jaded'n'faded Registered User

    Jan 23, 2019
    302
    Female
    High Peak
    Totally irrelevant but reading this post brought back a memory of my grandad when I was a small child. (He died over 50 years ago.) Occasionally we would stay at their house and it was very exciting because they had an open fire. He would sit in his chair by the fire, cut a slice from a loaf (always unsliced!) and put it on his toasting fork then toast it in front of the flames. I thought this was amazing and magical as at home we had a boring old toaster and central heating :rolleyes::D

    I'd completely forgotten about this so thanks for posting :)

    P.S. hope you find a solution for your mum.
     

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