In this “Aging In Place” series, we’ve previously addressed the needs of aging family members as they relate to bathroom remodeling. Today, we’ll talk about some of the things that can be done during kitchen remodeling to accommodate older folks who want to live independently in their homes.
While individual needs will vary, there are common home improvements that will serve most seniors well:
Light and sound. As we age, our hearing and sight can degenerate. Ensure that the kitchen and eating areas are well-illuminated and that electronic devices are in a frequency that seniors can hear.
Easy to open. Instead of knobs, handles and faucets that need to be twisted, select pull-out drawers and levers for those with joint pain or arthritis.
Seated options. It can be tiring to stand for long periods of time to prep meals and some people become unsteady on their feet. Talk to your kitchen remodeling expert about having a section of counter built at a height where the user can be seated.
Proper storage. Often used items and heavy items should be stored in cupboards between knee and shoulder height so in order to avoid shoulder, back and neck strain. Additionally, make sure that the microwave and other small appliances are not kept overhead but instead are easy to reach on the counter.
With some forward thinking, it is easy to take the required steps to make a home senior-friendly. Being safe in the kitchen is the most important thing so be sure to talk to your kitchen remodeler before beginning the project to ensure that they can meet your needs.
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