GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Tom Garcia from Southern Evergreen and Scott Silknitter from Caregiving 101 teamed up at the Southern Evergreen Design Center to show you how to keep your loved ones with dementia safe in your kitchen.

Kitchen Safety and Food Poisoning

As your elderly loved ones start having mental impairments, they may not understand or recognize expiration dates on food in the fridge or realize food has gone bad.

An easy way to prevent that is by scheduling days where you clean out your fridge. If you need to throw something away, take it to an outside garbage can and don't draw attention to what you're doing because your family member might get upset if they see you "wasting" food from their fridge.

Another option is close the kitchen off. You can install gates, a door, or Dutch doors so the kitchen can be closed off but you can still see and be seen.

Kitchen Safety Tips

Here are a few easy changes you as a caregiver can make to improve the overall safety of your kitchen:

  • If someone has dementia and it is progressing quickly, remove easy access to things like cleaning chemicals and garbage.
  • Use child locks for under the sink. Also be sure to lock away spices and medicines.
  • Disable or camouflage the garbage disposal switch.

If you have questions for Tom, email him at, and you can contact Scott here.