This might be one of the more stressful things to manage when the decline is happening, we’ve all heard the stories about cooktops left in “on”. These suggestions and products will hopefully make things easier for you and your loved ones. I’m lucky that at the time of writing things are still ok and my mom is not leaving the cooktop on and forgetting about it but am ready to dive into this when it’s needed.

  1. Cooktop: what I learned in my user group and online is that there are products to shut down a range or cooktop should it be left “on” and forgotten. Here is a list, I am yet to try one. If you are not sure on how to install such devices I highly recommend calling a licensed electrician.
  2. Kitchen sink: that can be left open as well as we all want to avoid water damage, that’s no fun. You can get a few things to help with this to alert that a sink is overflowing:
    • Standalone products without smart home capabilities, they typically have a speaker making noise should it detect water but for those living alone, that’s not optimal. Before they figure out what’s happening it might be already too late and you have a mess to manage.
    • Smart home products: this is the way to go as you can do two things which will prove to be very useful, I will use the YoLink products as an example:
      • Alert: the sensor can make noise but also alert your smartphone and trigger a routine. Here is the YoLink product I use to detect water leaks.
      • Take action: you can get an add-on to close water valves should water leakage be detected. Here is the YoLink kit for this scenario. Yes you can turn off the home’s main water valve and take action. Not a bad idea really but don’t expect an Alzheimer’s patient to return things to normal, so check on your batteries monthly.
  3. Wall-plugged appliances: you can use some smart wall switches to turn on & off small kitchen appliances like a kettle or small counter oven. Bear in mind that the plug will not monitor if the appliance is functioning and when you turn the smart plug back on, the appliance will return to its previous state therefore plan human interaction to remedy the situation.  The only thing I can think of is to add a temperature sensor to or by a kitchen top appliance and if it’s hot for longer than a specified time get the smart plug to go to “off” mode. But good news, many vendors have been “smartifying” commonplace products.
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