Today we are discussing aging in place and some of the modifications that you can make to your kitchen to ensure that you can stay in your home for many years. Accessibility is one of the key factors to look at when renovating your home to age in place. A little bit of planning and foresight can allow you to maintain your independence for years to come.
- For safety reasons you want to make sure the countertops you choose have rounded edges to reduce the risk of injury in the kitchen.
- As we age our eyesight can begin to deteriorate making it difficult to safely navigate through your kitchen. Adding a contrasting color to the edges of the countertop helps those with poor eyesight maneuver around the kitchen without fear of injury.
- Try to have at least one countertop area that is shorter than the typical 36 inch height and is open underneath to accommodate a wheelchair.
- The space underneath the sink should be open and piping for the sink should be placed towards the back wall to allow for wheelchair access
- Look for a lever style faucet or a one touch faucet for arthritic hands, or for those who have diminished manual dexterity.
- Opt for a sink that has a shallow basin to make everyday kitchen activities such as rinsing vegetables or washing dishes easier if you are in a wheelchair.
- In a previous post we wrote about door handles, and how certain types of door handles are better for those with arthritis. The same can be said about the hardware on your cabinets. Swap out old knob handles with “D” shaped drawer pulls for easier accessibility.
- As you modify your kitchen think drawers, not cabinets. Drawers will give you greater accessibility to all of your stored goods and appliances.
- If you do keep your cabinets, deep cabinets can benefit from a lazy Susan or from pull out shelves. Modifications such as these allow you to reach any and all of the contents of your cabinets safely and easily.
If you have any questions about aging in place feel free to contact us. We have several Certified Aging-In-Place Specialists here at Schrader and Company to help you plan you and your loved one’s future.