Using microwave ovens

We often recommend that our patients use microwaves to cook their meals. Microwaves cook food without the open flames or burners that stove tops have.

However, operating microwaves can be difficult because of the small numbers on the control pads.  We mark microwave controls panels with raised, self-stick, dots that we affix to help identify the different control settings. For example, a green bump dot can go on the start button and red bump dot on the stop button.

Sometimes we create large print templates for patients to follow to help them identify specific buttons as can be seen above. These templates replicate the controls of our patients' microwave control pad. In the example above, the number "5" is marked with a red bump dot to help orient the patient to their control pad.

Using either the bump dots or the large print templates, patients can operate their microwaves with more ease. With very little practice, patients can cook their entire meals safely and with ease.

Thank you to Marion Hamilton and Jessica Eddy Storey, two of our occupational therapists, for the idea for this article.