I am afraid to let my 91 year old mother-in-law bake or cook. She has the tendency to shake and can't stand for any period of time. What can I do?

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I'm the same way with my mother,but to keep from hurting her feelings and allow her to feel independent,I will let her do some light cooking and just keep a watchful eye.She will sometimes ask me for help and let me know when she can't do any more.
I can only imagine what it must be like to go from being an independent person to having someone do everything for you,it can't be easy.
Involve her at the table sitting down. Set it all up there.
It is very scary for you, a hot stove. Keep her busy at the table preparing food and let her get tired out that way.
Great suggestions offered already. I have sometimes had to balance Mom's wishing to help with knowing that helping her stand for long periods sometimes makes her so tired that she goes into agitation mode (she has Alzheimer's or some other form of dementia). And I have concerns about her chopping things because she's on coumadin. But if she's up for helping (which isn't all that often), I try to do whatever I can to enable it, as I know she enjoys it for a bit. Not to mention her milk gravy is a heckuva lot better than anything Dad or I make:)
I'm reminded to try to come up with more table tasks, though.
Alot of this truly depends on her situation. If she is living alone,
and is truly still independent, then this is an critical safety issue and she may need to either move to IL or AL where her meals are taken care of &/or the kitchen situation is more limited and safer for her. Or have a sitter come in daily to monitor her in her home.

If she is living with you, then the watchful eye like bright said is the way to go if you have the time and family &/or a sitter to always be there to be a "spotter" when she's doing things.

My mom lived alone till her early 90's and then I basically had to force her to move to IL. It wasn't pretty but had to be done for her own safety and security. She seemed very capable and cognizant on the surface but there were alot of early dementia related problems going on. She is now 95 and in LTC with Lewy Body Dementia, early level 6.

With her the kitchen issues were all about safety - she would leave the gas on, she couldn't smell it; she would boil water to wash dishes and boil it down to an empty pan and not see that it was empty and super hot, then go to grab it or better yet put water into it in a rush and it would spit up and burn her. She had a dishwasher and electric kettle but wouldn't use it - looking back I realize it was that she couldn't mentally go thru the steps needed to use those appliances. But she was clever in that when she knew we were visiting she would only do cold food or use paper plates and we would go out to eat.

After being there for a summer week, it was apparent she needed to move. She did IL for 3 years - the kitchen was minimal and electric. The IL did lunch and dinner and Sunday brunch - so there was always a good "hot" meal and leftovers. (It's amazing to me just how much they can pack into the seats of those Hugo's.) Every situtation and family is different but things are not going to get better as they age. Good luck.
Top Answer
Supervision and assistance, and what she can do sitting down would be best...
We take the knobs off the stove and oven so my 82 year old mother who has Altheimers will not cook. Hopefully that helps.
I'm only 62, but I have such bad arthritis in my knees and back that I can't stand for too long. Same goes for my wife except her arthritis is in her ankles and is very severe. We like to cook and entertain, so we roll around on rolly chairs all around the kitchen! It even makes clean-up at the sink a breeze! Any old office chair works great. The ones they call "steno" chairs are without arms so they seen better that those big "executive" chairs. We have dining chairs for our breakfast table set that roll, and they work also. My favorite is a doctor's exam stool I bought that sits me up nice and high and lets me roll around the kitchen like a hot rod. Hope this helps with your mom.
i take the knobs off the stove when i'm not at home and when i'm cooking i let her come in the kitchen and help by doing thing she can do by sitting down. and she tells anybody that comes to the house she cooked the meal. and to her that's a big deal.
My grandmother even burnt her rope while trying to cook on the gas stove so my dad disconnected the stove. Grandma wanted to be independent but she needed assistance with cooking and maintaining her home. I moved in with her but we had to tell her it was cause I wanted to be out on my own. This way someone was there most of the time and I did the cooking and cleaning. If you are able maybe suggest a live-in caregiver who will help out with cooking and cleaning in exchange for room and board. Your church is a good place to start student in college or nursing student this could be a win win solution to your problem. good luck.
For my 93 year old mother we had to unplug her stove and placed her micro-wave on top of the burners - then supply her with appropriate food she can fix there.

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