Toaster Ovens Are Great For The Elderly, Too!
As we get older, the reality is that getting through our daily routine gets harder and harder. Of course, even though we are getting older, we still want to maintain our independence, and that includes being able to cook for ourselves. Using an oven can be a pain — literally — when we get older; arthritis can make bending over difficult. Also, our eyesight can deteriorate over time, making it difficult to read temperature dials, etc.
Fortunately, toaster ovens can be an excellent item for elderly people to have in their kitchen; they have many features and functions that make them ideal for those of us that are finding it difficult to use our conventional ovens.
Benefits of Toaster Ovens For the Elderly
- Easier to use / saves bending over — Since toaster ovens are designed to sit on your kitchen counters, they are much easier to use for people that have difficulty bending over. Having a toaster oven on your counter means that it’s about at waist level, and the user shouldn’t have to bend over at all.
- Safer to use — Cooking with an oven can be a hazard if you forget that you have it on. What’s great about toaster ovens is that some of them have auto-shutoff timers, which will instantly shut the cooking function off when the time is up. This makes them much more safe to use, especially for those of us that are getting a little forgetful.
- Easier to read displays and control — Toaster ovens like the Breville BOV800XL or less-expensive Breville BOV650XL have excellent, large and easy to read LCD screens that are perfect for those of us that have deteriorating eyesight. These toaster ovens also have large dials for controls, which are easy to use for people with limited motor ability.
What to Look For in a Toaster Oven For The Elderly
Here are some features of toaster ovens that can be of great benefit for elderly people. Consider a toaster oven with these qualities, which can make them much easier to use.
- Auto shutoff timer — As mentioned, auto shutoff timers are a very important safety feature for people with memory issues. Leaving a cooking oven unattended is a recipe for a fire, and having a toaster oven with an auto shutoff timer of around 30 to 60 minutes is something I would recommend.
- Digital displays and controls — Look for a toaster oven with a large, backlit digital display. Try to avoid toaster ovens with overly-complicated controls and settings; it can be difficult for young people to figure them out, let alone an older person. The best thing to do is keep it simple and find a toaster oven with simple controls that are easy to use.
- Auto-eject wire rack — Motor ability can become an issue as we get older, and keeping our hands steady can be difficult. There is a risk of burning ourselves by reaching into a hot toaster oven to remove the food in this case, which is why toaster ovens with auto-eject wire racks are a great benefit. Models like the Cuisinart TOB-40 have such a feature, and are surely worth looking into.
- Front-removable crumb tray — Regularly cleaning the crumb tray is another important thing to remember to avoid dangerous fires. While many toaster ovens have crumb trays that remove from the back, it is much easier to clean one when it can be removed from the front of the unit. Again, I can recommend the Cuisinart TOB-40 as being a toaster oven that has a front-removable crumb tray.
If you are going to be buying a toaster oven for an elderly person you know, it would be a good idea to read through the instruction manual and help them figure out how to use it properly and safely. I always stress that safety is the most important thing when it comes to cooking in the kitchen, so please take the time to help your elderly friend or family member learn to use their new toaster oven.
—Alex @ Best Toaster Oven