Updated Kitchen for Aging Users

If you’re planning to Age In Place, that is, stay in your current home as you grow older, one of the key areas to evaluate is your kitchen. A kitchen remodel now will save you headaches later and help you to get around with little difficulty in your senior years.

Consider the kitchen floor plan. Is it open and spacious? Is there enough counter space? Are the appliances arranged properly and safely so there is little chance of getting burned or falling?  You’ll want to address these areas with your custom remodeler or certified Aging in Place Specialist. They will likely recommend that the kitchen be open, with wide areas to walk through and open areas to pass food. In addition, countertops can be lower for those in wheelchairs. Cabinets can be more user-friendly and provide better storage if stationary shelves are replaced with roll-out shelves. Easy-to-grip knobs on cabinetry are also more comfortable for aging hands. Add a lazy susan to corner cabinets for better access to contents.

Check the kitchen from floor to ceiling. Floors should be slip-proof. Choose materials that will not be normally slippery, or have floors treated. Ceilings should house enough light for the kitchen. Try task lighting over your work surfaces. This can help you cut food, not fingers, and it makes it easier to read recipes.