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new member and a question about cooking


Registered User
Apr 7, 2015

my Mum was diagnosed with Alzheimers 3 years ago.
She remains relatively independent . She lives in a retirement flat
with lovely people around. But there is no care on site - just the usual manager.

She washes and dresses herself and feeds herself with simple to prepare cold food and ready meals or toast using a toaster. Until now she's been ok using the microwave

This week, she accidentally set the microwave too high and caused a smoke alarm. She didn't seem to notice all the smoke, and neighbours raised the alarm.
As we obviously don't want this to happen again we've removed the microwave (which was not very easy to set)

Now I feel we'd be best to get someone along each day - usually me or my brother or her regular cleaner (who comes once a week) to prepare hot meals for /with her

My question to everyone is, at this stage should we replace the microwave or try to prevent her using any cooking appliances at all?

She does have a hob and oven as well, but hasn't used these for a long time - as she used the microwave. I'm concerned she may try and use these as the microwave is gone...

She's lived at this retirement flat for 3 months now and settled in very easily. Before that she was in a big flat in the same street, but no communal facilities. She's enjoying the new place very much and she goes to 3 activity groups every week, two specifically for dementia and one coffee morning for all. I'm proud she's done so well, but I am worried about how the disease will progress from here.

She is taking 15mg memantine, which seems to keep her quite level - deterioration is very gradual.

Look forward to hearing from you - and best wishes to everyone coping with this


Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
Your arrangements without the microwave sound fine. Better not to risk handling electrics if you can avoid it.


Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
Radcliffe on Trent
Hello and welcome to TP

My mum had the same type of problems. She had a gas cooker, but after the carer had found the gas left unlit we had that disconnected on OT's advice.

We swopped her microwave for a very basic model as she was getting confused with the controls. We taped up the power dial so the only thing she had to do was set the time but she could not do that reliably either. It seemed that she lost the ability to learn how to work anything new and gradually forgot how to work even familiar things, the TV remote, even the phone.

So based on our experience I would not encourage her to start using the hob/oven again. You could go for a meals-on-wheels type service (some of these have a service where the person heats up and serves the meal, makes a drink etc. as well as delivering). Another idea would be to use something like the Wiltshire Farm Foods delivery service and then have a carer come in to actually heat the meal up.

To stop mum trying to use the microwave or cooker herself, you can get lockable socket covers fitted so the appliances can be switched off at the mains when mum is alone.

I do feel for you as mum hated all of this and we never found a perfect solution, but this was the best we could come up with. We couldn't risk either a fire or worse still a gas explosion so there was really no alternative. Good luck!