In recent years, many older homeowners have chosen to renovate their homes to address the challenges of aging. An age in place renovation is usually done as an alternative to moving to a facility or to a relative’s home. These renovations typically involve making an entry accessible, updating a bathroom, or adding a first-floor bedroom. Often, homeowners aren’t aware we also can upgrade their kitchen to make it safer and more accessible. Here are examples of what we can do.
Making a kitchen more accessible involves making it more functional for people living with physical challenges. For a wheelchair or walker user, we could enlarge kitchen pathways. Wheelchair users can also benefit from lower kitchen countertops and lower light switches.
Of course, accessible design (also known as universal design) isn’t just for people who use wheelchairs or walkers. For instance, we have options for homeowners who have difficulty using their hands. We would suggest design features like a rocker light switch and a single-handle pull-out faucet because they’re easier to manipulate than toggle light switches and two-handle faucets.
Also, reaching can be an issue for some homeowners. We could address that by putting drawers and slide-out bins below the kitchen countertops instead of deep cabinets.
Making a Safer Kitchen
Yes, the right design elements can reduce your risk of falls and other injuries in the kitchen. We can present options for slip-resistant flooring. Adequate lighting is essential for safety. We can suggest ways to improve general lighting, increase natural light, and add task lighting. We can show you how the right appliances can make your kitchen safer. For example, a range that has the knobs in the front eliminates the need to reach over a hot stove.