GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Scott Silknitter from Caregiving 101 and Tom Garcia from Southern Evergreen teamed up to show caregivers how to safely cook with elderly loved ones.

Before implementing changes, they said you first need to understand the term "sandwich caregiver". They are caregivers sandwiched between caring for an aging loved one, caring for their kids and managing other responsibilities, such as holding down a job.

With a busy "sandwich caregiver" schedule, it is crucial to avoid issues with things that can be time-consuming, such as mealtime. Often times, elderly people with dementia will accidentally heat up plastic. A tip to help removed melted plastic is to place ice on it to make it brittle and easier to scrape off.

If a loved one burns food, you can remove the smell by washing surfaces with a simple water vinegar solution. Charred food can also create soot on the ceiling above the stove. The best way to clean that is with a cleaning tool called a Magic Eraser that lets you safely scrub the soot off. If you use a typical sponge and water, you run the risk of soot particles drying in the wood grain of a cabinet and discoloring the wood.

If you have questions for Tom, email him at You can reach Scott with your questions here.