Simple, safe, easy to use COOKER needed

Discussion in 'Equipment and technology' started by Karen_A, Jan 15, 2019.

  1. Karen_A

    Karen_A New member

    Jan 15, 2019
    Hi - my mum has early Alzheimers and since my dad passed away over Xmas, she will now have to prepare some meals for her self. She currently has a gas cooker and we want to change this for an electric one for obvious reasons.

    Can anyone recommend an electric cooker which is easy to operate - simple as possible - and safe for her to use.

    We have looked at induction cookers as the hobs do not get hot, but they all seem to have touch pads which are way too complicated for her.

    Is there a regular electric cooker that is available on the high street where the hob rings glow red when still warm/hot so that she is aware not to touch them?

    The less buttons and gadgets the better!!!

    Thank you in advance.
  2. Duggies-girl

    Duggies-girl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2017

    Hi @Karen_A My dad has an induction hob and even I have trouble with that. You seem to have to touch the control with a certain tap of the finger, not too soft and not too hard, I hate the thing but rarely have to use it and it is way beyond dad.

    Dad copes without a hob, he has a microwave and a small worktop oven. He can just about work the microwave but the oven is now beyond him.

    Has your dad been doing all of the cooking because if he has then it is possible that your mum will be unable to cope with any kind of new cooker. I understand why you need to get rid of the gas cooker but unless she is able to operate that safely at the moment I can see her having problems with any new electric cooker.

    Not a lot of help really but others may have better ideas.
  3. Karen_A

    Karen_A New member

    Jan 15, 2019

    Thank you - you have confirmed for me that we were right to rule out the induction cooker - a great idea but not really designed for some of the more tech-fearing older generation. Currently she is happy to use the oven, but is weary of the gas hobs - hence looking for a safer alternative.
  4. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    North Manchester
    In use the glass surface of an induction hob gets hot because of the hot pan resting on it, several have a warning light to show the surface has not cooled down after use.

    You could remove the knobs on the hob or preferably, if a reasonably modern hob, get a Gas Safe engineer to disable the FSD (flame supervision device) so the jets cannot be lit.

    Both ceramic and metal hobs glow red when in use although immediately after use they loose the colour but are hot enough o give a nasty burn or set fire to a tea cloth.

    A lot can be done in microwave ovens, you can get plastic saucepans to boil vegetables in.

    For frying there are many multifunction electric pans
  5. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    My SIL insisted I buy her an induction cooker of the type Nitram describes. I think she saw a neighbour with one. In reality she only uses the front right hand ring and never the oven at all. A microwave would do everything she needs and probably enough for your Mum if she has a simple one. SIL at 83 doesn't have dementia yet but is handicapped.
  6. Duggies-girl

    Duggies-girl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2017
    Hi again. I do all of dad's meals and make do with his microwave. He usually has some type of ready meal and if he needs extra gravy or sauce I make it in a cup. I even make his instant mash in a mug because dad has thrown all of his saucepans out.
  7. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    I do think the main issue is whether or not your mother can learn to use a new cooker. Since learning new skills is usually one of the first things to be lost, what about purchasing a secondhand cooker? It might well have easier controls and if it turns out your mother can't get used to it, less money would have been expended.
  8. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    I can understand why you want to switch to electric, but in all honesty I doubt she will get the hang of it, people with dementia cannot learn new things. And it wouldn't necessarily be safe, especially if it is a new thing to her with room for additional confusion.

    If she is wary of the gas hob, as Nitram says you can disable it by removing the knobs - that is what we did for my mother. My mother managed to set fire to a crumpet under the grill, so it isn't just the hob you need to worry about. We removed the knobs for the whole appliance, they were hidden out of sight and the carer could then replace and use if they wished, but my mother couldn't.
  9. Porcupine

    Porcupine New member

    Jan 22, 2019
    Decided it was time to sign up and join this forum after this morning's 2.30am call out for the fire brigade. Fortunately, it was just a faulty smoke alarm and not my MiL burning the toast again, although she was up and dressed for the day.
    Cooking is one of the most problematic areas with dementia. In our case, it was the first indication that things were not going well. We refurbished my MiL's kitchen a few years ago. We installed a cooker and hob both with simple rotary dials, no digital displays and no induction as she has eye sight issues too. About 18 months ago we realised she was having problems with using these. We put tactile "bumps" on them but this did not make much difference. After a few times of finding melted plastic dishes where she was using the oven on grill mode, as well as a melted worktop saver where she had put a hot frying pan on it, we decided it would be safer to disconnect the cooker.
    At about the same time, following a stay in hospital, she had an interim care team who would only use a microwave oven to prepare her meals. Again, we provided one with simple rotary dials. The care team helped to teach her how to use the microwave. Unfortunately, she never really got the hang of this. She managed to burn meals to a cinder and also burned bread which she tried to toast in it. We had tried meals on wheels for a while (whole other story!) but decided that the safest thing was to replace the now-scorched microwave with one that she cannot use. It has a child lock feature. (Microwave was not expensive - available from one of the main supermarkets) So now she just has a kettle (with an automatic cut-out) and a toaster. We cook her hot meals at lunch time. This works for now.
  10. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    Your mention of the melted plate in the oven reminded me that my mother used to put her toast under the grill on a china plate - resulted in a daily cracked plate.

    Just before my mother had daily carers, the social worker suggested we get a microwave but I knew that would lead to just the problems you mention - things burnt to a cinder. Or possibly even random inappropriate items put in there causing a fire. Very good idea to have one with a child lock!
  11. nellbelles

    nellbelles Volunteer Host

    Nov 6, 2008
    Hello @Porcupine and welcome to TP, I’m glad to read that for the moment you have MIL’s needs sorted.
    Now you have found the forum I hope you will continue to post.
  12. sinkhole

    sinkhole Registered User

    Jan 28, 2015
    I echo what everyone else has said.

    A microwave has got to be the safest solution, but even that is likely to have it's challenges.
    In my experience, any change to the way something has been done in the past will cause confusion and could lead to issues. Where heat is involved, that inevitably means danger.

    Every time an appliance breaks in my mum's house, I try and find an identical replacement, but that isn't always possible and anything with slightly different controls then becomes a problem.

    I would start thinking about taking the need to cook away completely either by having some care in the home or a meals on wheels type of service.
  13. prodigal-son

    prodigal-son Registered User

    Feb 1, 2019
    That sounds familiar! My dad is pretty far gone but until very recently he's happily been using a Panasonic combination microwave/convection oven that certainly confuses me. I'm certain he couldn't learn to work even the simplest replacement. And I dread to think what will happen with his cordless phones, which are old and in my experience don't normally last long.

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