When designing a kitchen remodeling, it is important to consider the efficiency of the kitchen to accommodate the elderly. The kitchen will need to accommodate wheelchair accessibility and easy navigation.
Ways in which you can remodel your kitchen to make it accessible by the elderly.
You can consider installing pullout pantries in the kitchen because they are convenient and useful. It makes it easier for the elderly to take items from the pantry since they are all visible at a glance. They do not have to go through different items to pick what they want or strain their knees and back to reach for items. The pullout pantries can also be used to store heavy objects such as toasters and blenders. Having pullout pantries will allow the elderly to reach different items comfortably and minimize injuries.
Make the Edges Round
90-degree edges on shelves and countertops ate discouraged because one can easily hit their elbow or hip. Round edges reduce this risk because they have no sharp edges that could hit one when moving around in the kitchen. This will include the kitchen stools and the working counters. Just like toddlers, the elderly need a safe home environment to maneuver.
The Stove should be close to the Sink
This is because the seniors may not have enough stability to carry water across the kitchen. The water may spill and cause a slipping hazard. The stove can be placed near the sink and there can be a working space between the two. The senior will not strain to try to carry water from one part of the kitchen to another. It is comfortable to make things close and accessible. It encourages convenience and they can prepare a meal of their choice.
Install Shallow Sinks
Sinks should not be deep because it will strain the senior when they are rinsing utensils or when washing fruits and vegetables. If the sink is deep, the elderly will strain the back and arms trying to reach for the items in the sink. Make it shallow for the convenience and safety of the seniors.
Low Height Counters
Especially for microwaves, they should be placed in low height counters because their usage is more. The senior might want to warm their food. Instead of waiting for someone to warm their food, they can simply reach the microwave on the low height counter. This increases their independence and they will enjoy staying at home. The other advantage of having a microwave in a low height counter is to minimize the food spilling accidents especially when it is hot.
Have Plain Cabinets
Avoid installing frills in the kitchen cabinets. This will help minimize accidents in the kitchen. Remodeling of the kitchen for the elderly will include making the cabinets plain and avoid a lot of decorations that can limit the kitchen space. The focus should be to make the home safe and convenient for the elderly.
The Corners should be Visible
The corners should be visible to avoid hitting on objects especially when using a wheelchair. The corners can also be utilized to provide extra storage cabinets that are of low height for easy access. Having low height cabinets in the corners will reduce straining the individual. It also minimizes accidents because the storage cabinets are well organized and there is enough space for wheelchair movement.
Use Drawers instead of Doors
Drawers are easy to open and close and provides room for grabbing. Doors can have tiny handles and when left open, they can be hazardous. With the drawer, one can easily see everything in it when sited in the wheelchair. The drawers can have utensils such as pots, plates, spoons, and anything else that they may need to use in the kitchen.
Clear the Space
There should be no clutter on the ground and storage should be well organized to leave enough space for wheelchair movements. Having enough space will minimize accidents and straining. It will encourage the elderly to use the kitchen when they need it.