(Please print this page for your personal safe keeping)


  • Are the dishes and food accessible on lower shelves?
  • Is there a telephone available? Are there emergency phone numbers displayed near the phone or on the refrigerator?
  • Is there a work triangle everywhere there is a food preparation area, mixing area and cooking area in a linear or trangular pattern for easier access?
  • What type of refrigerator is in use? Is the freezer side by side to the refrigerator or is it on top? (Side by side provides easier accessibility.)
  • Are there adjustable counter tops, corner counters, pull out surfaces and stools?
  • Is there a non skid runner or rug in front of the sink?
  • Are the floors non skid? (Do not use floor polishes and make sure grease and other items are not present.)
  • Is there a smoke alarm and fire extinguisher?
  • Are the sinks deep? If wheelchair accessiblity is needed, provide one with a free standing sink.
  • Are there any foods with expired dates that should be thrown away?
  • If adaptive devices are required such as extended graspers or eating devices, are they provided?
  • Are sharp object which may be harmful to a confused adult kept out of the way in a secure area?
  • Are towels and curtains near the stove? (if the window is open, you will want to remove these to prevent fires from starting.)
  • Is there sufficient lighting above the stove, the sink and the countertops?
  • Are all electrical wires and appliances a safe distance from the sink?
  • Are there clearly marked “off” indicators for the stove and appliances?
  • Is there a food timer and a whistling teakettle to remind your loved one when something is ready?
  • Is there plastic dinnerware available if needed to prevent breakages of glass and china? Are they microwaveable?
  • Are pots and pans too heavy for maneuvering? If so, they should be replaced with lighter ones. If this is not possible, provide access to them at a proper level.
  • Are pot holders or mittens available for use?
  • Is there a sturdy step stool?
  • Are pet food dishes out of the walking path?
  • Do chairs have casters or rollers for easier movement?
  • Is there an E-Z Reacher type of device to reach the higher shelves?
  • Are exhaust and ventilation systems working properly?


  • Ms. Mitchell began her full-time caregiving experience in the early eighties when her husband was diagnosed with cancer. Later on she became the primary caregiver for her father, along with her mother who had become critically ill from burnout prior to her dad’s passing. In recent years, she cared for several friends with AIDS while continuing to care for her mother and actively providing support, information, referrals and resources for caregivers.

    Gail's leadership on the Internet and her success with Empowering Caregivers led her to found National Organization For Empowering Caregivers (NOFEC) INC in 2001.

    Prior to founding NOFEC, she created the iVillageHealth Chat: Empowering Caregivers, which she hosted for over 5 years. Within a month of hosting she created Empowering Caregivers: www.care-givers.com in 1999 as a resource for caregivers around the globe. Over three million visitors have frequented the website.

    She has presented at national and international care-related conferences and programs and has been a keynote speaker for many programs as well.

    Ms Mitchell has assisted thousands of caregivers online and offline in ways to empower themselves in their roles in caring for loved ones.

    For a list of clients and/or her resume, please contact info@care-givers.com

    Gail's articles have been published in many venues nationally and in Canada. Presently, she is a member of American Society on Aging and National Quality Caregivers Coalition.

    Gail has discovered that there is life after caregiving: She has become a successful ceramic artist and installation artist. She created Crystal Illumination Art to bring the transformative quality of illumination, light and color to the human experience and celebrate its ability to inspire, heal and nourish our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being.