Dementia: New Problems With Using The Kettle

I have had to keep my eye on Maureen’s use of the electric kettle for some time.  She often fills it and up leaves the lid open when she switches it on. This morning I smelled burning plastic when she put the kettle on a hot ring of the electric cooker. I managed to rescue the kettle just in time with only superficial damage to the plastic casing .  Maureen didn’t see anything wrong in what she had done, clearly remembering how she used to boil water in times gone by.

The need for vigilance is paramount if a serious incident is to be avoided in the future.  Leaving Maureen alone in the house is now very risky and has to be called into question.  Unfortunately, our Care Agency are struggling to put additional sits in place as they are short of staff.  This means that I’m going to be confined to quarters for four days a week for the forseeable future.  In the mean time I will need to keep my wits about me at all times to minimise the chances of a serious accident.  I think it is time to call in Occupational Therapy to see if we can make the house safer for someone who is forgetting the safest way to use various things in the house.  The Fire Brigade are already wanting to pay us a visit to minimise the risks of accidents in the home.

4 thoughts on “Dementia: New Problems With Using The Kettle

  1. This is similar to something I kept doing. I would put the kettle on the stove, then I would forget I had put water on for tea, and then leave the house. Yikes! There were a few close calls before we ended up getting an electric kettle that sits on a base and shuts off automatically after coming to a boil. I just have to hope that I never try to put THAT kettle on the stove! We are hoping I have the pattern down well enough though so that won’t happen. (l/e)


    1. I see now, and read it plain as day. I didn’t visualize it correctly on first read. I think I get thrown by some of our differences in vocabulary sometimes. 🙂 “hot ring” “electric cooker” for example. Glad you rescued the kettle in time!


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