How to stop Mom from using the stove and appliances?

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My mother has dementia and while she understands this and knows very well that her memory is extremely short, she still tries to be extremely independent. That's not a bad thing, but her obsessive behavior is a problem. She obsesses about coffee and wants it all the time. I found a brand of instant coffee that she actually likes that is decaf. Earlier in her dementia, she was able to make herself a cup of coffee, but those days are over. Unfortunately, she still believes she can do it and so she'll turn the stove on and then wander off and forget about it. Naturally she doesn't want it when I'm able to stop what I'm doing and fix it for her, she only wants it when I'm busy and can't stop. She insists she can do it herself. I'll tell her I'll fix it in a few minutes and she angrily stomps off. Two minutes later, she's forgotten the conversation and the whole thing starts all over again.

I thought about removing the knobs to the stove, but I caught her trying to make her coffee in the microwave. Somehow she melted a hot/cold plastic coffee cup in the microwave. Then I had to start unplugging the microwave and sadly she can remember to check that and she plugs it back in. The same thing with the toaster too. I thought the toaster would be fine, until she started messing with the knobs and so she burns her toast every single time!

I'm trying really hard to be patient but it seems impossible sometimes. I know she doesn't know any better, but I cannot come up with an answer. I have an open kitchen, so I can't hide it by putting up a curtain or a door.

I don't know what to do. She gets up in the middle of the night too and I have nightmares of the house burning down.

Any suggestions?

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We have a gas stove so I have had this question on my mind a lot lately. Mom only had on episode that luckily I was home to remedy. I was thinking of either getting an electric stove or, more economically friendly, just removing the knobs when I wasn't home.
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If it is coffee she is after I suggest a keurig, I love mine!
Some electric stoves have their own fuses, you could take them out rather than tripping the breaker on the main panel.
The toaster, is there a way you could tape the dials in place, or even remove them?(sometimes they will pop off with a little wiggling)
The microwave... my mom used to have hers plugged into the stove outlet because there was no other option, if you could do that then disabling the stove would also disable the microwave.
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I don't if the company is still there but teleboomer telecare was suggested more than a year back for my dad. I know they have a device for electric stoves, that once you plug the stove into it a motion detector will shut off the power to the stove if no activity is in the vicinity for a set amount of time. I know that doesn't address all of your questions, but it might help with at least one of them. Good luck.
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A solution for the overnight time might be to switch the circuit breaker that controls the kitchen outlets off. However, you need to make sure that you are not also turning off power to the refrigerator. During the day, you would need to reset the breaker. Or, if your kitchen has GFCI controlled outlets, which are required in my area, just trip the outlet. I doubt that your mom would be able to figure out how to reset a GFCI, even though it is quite simple. It might be worth a service call from an electrician to install these.
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I would try making visual changes for things you don't want her to use - make them blend - and highlight things you do want her to use. Try changing the way things look in the kitchen so that you can hide appliances in plain sight. Maybe you want to get appliance covers that blend with your countertop for the toaster and microwave and anything else that you don't want your mom to use. If she doesn't "see" it maybe she will forget she wants to use it.
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24/7 supervision is simply not an option. Financially she has to pay out of pocket for a nursing home stay (she sold a house within the past couple of years and so doesn't qualify for assistance) and that is impossible. I am in a situation where she must live with me and that's that.

So let's move past that and figure out a solution.
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Either she needs 24/7 supervision or you need to disable (unplug?) the items that are unsafe to use. If she will attempt to use them and then when they don't work she will walk away, then unplugging them will do. If she can figure out how to plug them back in then the answers are, remove them completely or provide her with 24/7 supervision. She is beyond the point where she can be unsupervised unless the environment is 'elder-proof' for lack of a better term. She can't learn, and she can't remember so those are the things you can't change. Change the things you can.

Angel
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