Great Gift Ideas for Older Cooks

No matter what holidays your family celebrates, the kitchen is likely to be the heart of your family gathering – a place for relatives young and old to come together, trade stories and recipes, and of course enjoy a home-cooked meal.

It doesn’t matter how talented a cook you or your loved ones may be, our abilities change as we age and everyday tasks like chopping vegetables, opening containers or reading small print labels can become increasingly difficult. Rather than hanging up a well-worn apron, older cooks now use a wealth of kitchen gadgets to help overcome these obstacles.

Below are 9 great kitchen aides that can help chefs of all ages and abilities keep cooking for years to come.

  1. The Zip-It Opener

Opening rigid plastic packaging can be frustrating at any age and sharp plastic points can quickly take the fun out of opening gifts.  This handy battery-powered device uses a design similar to can openers to safely cut rigid plastic packaging. Be sure this is the first gift your loved one opens this holiday!  Zip It Opener

  1. Grip Cuffs

Losing the ability to tightly grip utensils due to arthritis or other conditions can make preparing or eating a meal incredibly challenging.  These simple velcro cuffs fits over the user’s palm and have a slot to hold most commonly-used kitchen utensils.

  1. Utensil Weights for Tremors

Even slight hand tremors can make meal preparation difficult, and severe tremors can make many people self-conscious about eating in front of others.  Rather than sitting out the meal, attaching utensil weights to the handles of your flatware can help restore a sense independence and self-sufficiency for your loved one.

  1. Long Handled Broom and Dust Pan

Cleaning up after cooking is a drag at any age, but standard length brooms often force the user to bend or stoop in order to reach the floor, creating a risk of falls or causing back pain.  This broom and dust pan combination offer longer handles to minimize bending during clean up.

  1. Sturdy Shopping Cart

No New York apartment is complete without a shopping cart.  Rather than carrying a heavy load back home or waiting for a delivery from your local supermarket, these carts can help cooks of all ages safely stock their kitchen.  This model offers large back wheels that make crossing curbs and large sidewalk cracks easier than other models.

  1. Detachable Food Bumpers

Seasoned holiday hosts can grow extremely attached to their favorite set of plates and bowls, but the loss of mobility in one or both arms can make eating off of flat plates difficult for diners. Rather than setting out mismatched bowls and plates for guests, these inexpensive food bumpers give users a rigid surface they can use to easily scoop food one-handed.

  1. 5-in-1 Opener

Every chef has a trick or two to help them open stubborn jars and bottles, but this ergonomic tool can be a huge time saver.  The various edges on the 5-in-1 Opener can be used on jars, soda cans, capped bottles, pull-tab cans and mason jars, ensuring the right ingredient is just a twist away.  5 in 1 All Purpose Jar Bottle Opener

  1. One-Handed Cutting Board

Almost every recipe calls for ingredients to be chopped or mixed, meaning chefs with partial paralysis due to stroke experience serious challenges during meal preparation.  This unusual cutting board incorporates a series of slots and a small vice that fill the role of a second hand by holding items tightly in place.  Since the vice is extremely large, entire bowls of batter or other mixtures can be securely held for easy mixing.

  1. Penfriend Labeler

Every cook knows that a well-organized kitchen makes creating meals much easier.  With the help of the Penfriend Labeler, vision-impaired chefs can once again enjoy the feeling of having the right ingredient at hand without opening and checking every jar in their spice rack.

Users make an audio recording of the name of the item they wish to identify, and then attach an associated bar code label onto the container.  The next time a vision-impaired chef is looking for the item, they can run the labeler’s built in scanner along their shelves to quickly find the item.  As an added bonus, this device comes packaged with audio user instructions, as well as instructional software compatible with most text-to-speech computer programs.

The ability to prepare and cook meals at home is a central pillar to independent living for those who choose to age in place. SelectCare Home Care Services hopes this list illustrates how, with just a little bit of help, chefs of all ages and abilities can continue to find joy in the kitchen.

If you or a loved one still struggles to create healthy, nutritious meals on their own, consider contacting SelectCare to learn how our staff of home health care experts and compassionate caregivers can offer a helping hand when your loved ones need it most.