Aging in place has become the choice for many seniors and staying in your home can be more economical than living in a retirement facility. Studies show that it slows the progress of memory loss, strengthens social connections, and allows for more independence. The decision to aging in place brings the question, “What do I need to do to make my home safe and increase ease-of-use as I get older?”
One of the first rooms many people decide to remodel is the kitchen. Since it is where accidents are most likely to happen, safety is a first priority in the remodel design. Practical solutions will make the kitchen safe and easy to navigate. The following are some safety remodeling tips.
Kitchen cabinets should never be installed over the stove as they are too difficult to reach.
Countertops should be lowered to accommodate wheelchairs or sitting while preparing food.
Consider placing the sink near the stove – or install a pot filler so you don’t need to lug heavy pots of water very far.
Shallow sinks will ease stress on aging backs from hunching over while preparing food or cleaning up.
Rounded edges on all countertops can eliminate scrapes and bruises from sharp corners.
Pullout pantries allow you to see everything without having to move “stuff” around.
Drawers give you easy access to yummy snacks, canned goods and pet food for your constant companion. Build pullouts for small appliances to ease the strain on backs.
Corner cabinets are a Lazy Susan’s perfect location for easy-to-reach food and cooking utensil storage solutions.
A microwave installed under the counter is functional and easily accessed.
And very importantly, ensure that the new floor is slip resistant
Install under-cabinet storage racks. Pull-down racks give you instant access to kitchen essentials without the clutter of spice racks or knife holders. When the cooking is done, the rack swings up against the underside of the cabinet.
Build a kitchen office into your remodel.
Consider adding a desk and shelf storage in your kitchen remodel to use as a mini office and a place for your laptop to look up new recipes! You don’t need a lot of space. A small seating area is often adequate. During the remodel, add internet access and outlets for plugging in your computer equipment. Shelving or a recessed wall cabinet will keep paperwork organized or for showcasing your cookbooks.
Cook’s Kitchen and Bath creates kitchen remodel designs reflecting the customer’s needs and budget. We are a general contractor, and have worked with many who’d like to age in place. We know it’s an ongoing process and we can advise you based on our experience with many redesigns of this kind. Check back on our Blog for more ideas to make your home age in place friendly, or better yet, call us. Let’s get started!