An Old Chick Named Hazel

Meet Hazel, a spunky 80 year old who wants to age gracefully in her own home.   This blog series provides tips and links to products to help seniors live independently in their current home.  

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Someone's In The Kitchen With Hazel

Updated: Mar 31, 2019

Eating and drinking is not always an easy task for seniors especially when they have years of dental work. For Hazel, using straws makes it easier to sip liquids rather than holding a cup. Especially since her hands are very shaky. Sometimes Hazel prefers to use paper cups or plastic cups, and then she doesn’t have to worry about the glass breaking if she drops it and having to pick up small pieces of glass. She also uses plastic pitchers and plates, again not having to worry about glass breakage and prefers using paper plates if microwaving because they are light to carry to the table. Remember do not use those melanin plates or cups in the microwave unless you want a meltdown in the kitchen. There are also special

utensils which are easier for seniors to grip when eating.

Seniors can sometimes have a hard time opening jars and bottles. There are different types of products you can buy to help with opening jars. Try a jar opener that is easy to twist and can be used on different bottle sizes from twist off cap soda bottles to pickle jars.

Hazel is known as the leftovers queen. She is from that generation where they never waste food. One large meal cooked on Sunday can sometimes get them through Wednesday but storing the leftovers can sometimes be tricky. For some, opening plastic containers and luncheon meat packages can be almost impossible. For Hazel, it was hard for her to grab the tab and pull the lid off the plastic bowl. So she started using a zippered plastic storage bag to store her food. The type that actually has the zipper on the top that moves freely back and forth. Hazel found it much easier to use the bags instead of the plastic bowls. The storage bags without the zipper are still hard to open. The good thing is that the zippered bags come in regular storage and freezer storage bags so you can freeze meals.

Hazel always keeps some pre-cooked microwave dinners in the freezer just in case she doesn’t feel like cooking. Also it’s a good idea to have some homemade dinners cooked and frozen for those days when cooking isn’t the best option. This gives the grown children peace of mind that Hazel is eating something healthy. Also consider signing your senior up for a local meal delivery and a local grocery delivery program especially for heavy items like cases of water.

Remember when cooking foods, nothing too tough! And keep the salt to a minimum by using other seasonings for flavor. Make sure you have plenty of kitchen equipment to cook with. Hazel uses microwavable bowls, crock pots and programmable slow cookers. There are some great items on the market that can be used for cooking and grilling that have automatic timers and shut-offs. These are great for seniors just in case they take a nap while the food is cooking. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen often.

Whenever one of the children would visit, we would cook and freeze homemade chicken noodle soup in a zippered storage bag just in case Hazel was not feeling well and needed a good bowl of chicken soup.

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