Hot Drinks Safely.

Preventing accidents at home for elderly people

Help keep the elderly safe when making hot drinks

The household kettle is a basic fundamental for every household but for an elderly person it can pose a danger as arthritic hands and general lack of strength and possibly reduced sight can make it an accident waiting to happen.

Every one and a half minutes someone is burnt or scalded in the UK in an accident and whilst most injuries occur to the under 5’s the over 65 age group have 8% of accidents and are those at the greatest risk of fatal injuries.

This is 4-5 times greater than the average level for the population as a whole. However, medical experts interviewed and literature on burns/scalds accidents involving elderly people clearly indicates that a large number of these deaths in the elderly are a function of the age of the patients.

How can we help someone avoid an accident with a kettle ? Here are a few ideas and suggestions to make hot drinks safely.

this image shows a kettle cradle.

  • Invest in a small Travel Kettle for just one or two cups, this is much smaller and lighter and easy to handle.

this image shows a travel kettle and 2 cups

  • Invest in a one cup boiler. I gave one of these to a client who has very poor sight and he loves it. His old kettle is defunct now.

this image shows a one cup boilerThese mean that to make a drink all you have to do it fill the reservoir and then place a cup underneath. Press the button and hey presto in seconds, a cup of boiling water. No lifting kettles.


Award-winning blogger and former care columnist for Devon Life magazine. I am passionate about helping elderly people and people with dementia live purposeful and independent lives.
Designer of the Dementia Assistance Card and Points Of Light award recipient, Caron hopes to help carers when resources are limited and demand is ever-increasing. I am here to support you.


  1. I have been running the Designing for the Future competition for 4 years with both the University of Brighton and Collyers sixth form college. It is really gaining momentum as we are being approached by other institutions who are keen to get involved – which is all good news for design for older people! I began the competition becuase I wanted to encourage designers to focus on this area as, having started my online shop which sells lifestyle products for older people, it soon became clear that there was a dearth of good design in this area. Excitingly some of our students are now going on to start their own design businesses and develop some of their products.

  2. Hi Philippa
    Thanks for such a swift response. I look forward to reading your students thoughts and appreciate you asking them. Is this a one off competition they entered or is this an ongoing project at your school or college ? I am so pleased you like my site, it is only just over 10 months old and my first attempt. It is evolving organically and is my absolute passion and when I am not working with the elderly I am working on this.

  3. Hi Caron. You’re welcome. It’s a great site. Please fell free to write about the boiling mug design. I will speak to a couple of the students about contributing a blog. Many thanks Philippa

  4. Hello Philippa, many thanks for drawing my attention to the boiling mug in response to my post on Kettle cradles and other devices designed to reduce the risk of the elderly scalding themselves. I love the design concept and the aesthetics too. I would like to write a post about it if I could please? This is also encouraging to know that youngsters are considering the difficulties the elderly experience and if any of your students would like to write an article about the competition and their design thought process I would be delighted to add them to my site also. Thank you for reading Caron Cares and please help me spread the word.

  5. Hi Caron. One of the entries to our student design competition was this boiling mug idea which goes some way to avoiding the problems you have identified whilst still looking stylish. What do you think? Philippa

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