There are several potential solutions if your relative is starting to have problems making hot drinks - we take you through the options.
Your relative can buy a product to help with the existing kettle, get a new, easier-to-use-kettle, or consider buying an alternative hot-water device that's easier to handle.
Another option is to prepare a flask of tea in the morning to reduce the number of times your relative needs to make a drink throughout the day.
On this page you can find information on:
1. Choosing a new kettle
2. Kettle tippers
3. Instant hot-water taps
4. Hot-water dispensers
5. Drinking utensils
Choosing a new kettle
If a new kettle is the best option, it may be a good idea to consider buying a travel kettle, which is usually smaller and lighter to lift. When choosing a full-size kettle, look for one that’s lightweight.
Electric kettles are generally safer than stove-top kettles, because they have an automatic cut-off facility. Although stove-top kettles whistle to alert the user, they still need to be turned off manually. If your relative sometimes forgets to unplug the kettle, a cordless variety may be particularly helpful.
The following features may also be useful:
- a water level indicator that's easy to read
- a visual alert, such as a blue or red light, to show when the water is boiling
- an on/off switch that's easy to operate and is in an accessible position.
Which? members can read reviews of easy-to-use kettles.
Kettle tippers are cradles that most types of jug kettles will rest on securely. They have a pivot action to help tip the kettle. Look for one with non-slip feet.
Tippers are suitable for people who have difficulty with lifting the kettle and are at risk of scalding. However, it’s important to ensure that your relative is still able to fill up the kettle, as it will be fastened into the tipper. Using a plastic jug can often be the best solution.
Instant hot-water taps
A good alternative to using a kettle is having an instant hot-water tap (also called boiling-water taps or steaming hot-water taps) fitted to the kitchen sink. These provide boiling water on demand.
Although expensive, they offer several advantages over a kettle. They produce instant hot water for cooking and drinks, while being a lot easier to fill than a mug or teapot.
The final option is a hot-water dispenser. These are stand-alone devices that plug into the mains and boil hot water, usually one cup at a time, but with the mug placed directly under a dispenser.
It’s worth bearing in mind that hot water dispensers are generally more complicated to operate than kettles, so may need to be filled in advance by your relative’s carer in the morning. However, if you do decide to get one, it means your relative has easy access to a hot drink throughout the day, even if they can no longer manage a kettle.
An important part of preparing hot drinks safely is using the right cups and mugs, for example ones that have double or larger handles. Read more about choosing the right mugs, cups and other eating equipment for your relative’s needs.
- Kitchen safety: make sure your relative is as safe as possible with this article.
- Medical problems and medication management: the best ways to make sure your relative or friend can take the right dose of their medication.
- Dealing with changing care needs: If your relative receives domiciliary care or lives in sheltered housing or a residential care home, learn what to do if their needs change.
Page last reviewed: November 2016
Next review due: November 2018