By : Tracey Clayton
Nowadays, seniors are living on their own and leading healthy lives without anyone’s help. They have spent most of their lives in their homes and would love to stay there as long as they can. By making some small changes in your home, you can make it a safer place for older people who live on their own. Special attention should be paid to adapting the kitchen. You can increase the kitchen usability and make it a safer place for elderly people who will use it. Follow these simple steps to make the kitchen easier and safer to use by people of age.
The elderly aren’t able to move and reach certain places like younger people. This is why changing the height and location of the sink should be considered a priority. Think about adding a roll-under sink, this will allow seniors who are in wheelchairs to use it. Sinks can also be motorized, which would allow them to change their height and allow access to someone in a wheelchair. Adding a pullout sprayer and a faucet that is on the side will help the elderly use the sink.. Don’t forget to leave space under the sink, so people in wheelchairs can use it without any problems.
If someone is wheelchair-bound, this affects their ability to live independently and lead normal lives. This means that high cupboards, appliances and sinks need to be lower than usual. This might require remodeling the kitchen to make everything more accessible for senior people. Installing pull out shelves will make them much more accessible. Items that are most frequently used should be placed somewhere so they can be accessed comfortably. Consider putting D-shaped handles for cabinets; these are more comfortable for people who have arthritis.
Refrigerators have come a long way, making them more accessible and easier to use for senior citizens. Side by side doors are much more accessible as they provide easy access to both compartments. The most frequently used items can be put at mid shelf range making them easier to reach. Water and ice dispensers should be on the outside of the door and illuminated. Displays should have large numbers and letters to make it easier to read.
Longer door handles allow seniors to grip them with both hands. Improved lighting on the inside increases visibility. Pullout compartments are a good idea here as well, as is adding more storage capacity in the doors is also good. Also consider adding one of those high-quality commercial air purifiers in a refrigerator to keep the odor and bacteria out of it. This will keep the food fresh for longer.
Slippery floors are especially hazardous for the elderly and people with disabilities, and can cause serious injuries and sometimes even fatalities. This is why kitchen floors should be skid resistant; this can be done by adding nonskid rugs to kitchen floors. However, since rugs are easy to trip over, you might want to consider slip resistant floors. They would allow you to remove rugs from the kitchen altogether.
It’s common for seniors to have problems seeing, and bad lighting isn’t helping it either. It would be wise to install high wattage bulbs in order to brighten up the kitchen and make everything more visible. Also consider adding lights under the cabinets.
These are just some of the steps you can take in order to make the kitchen more accessible for senior citizens. This will allow them to live longer in their homes and continue living their lives as independently as possible.
Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She loves cooking, baking, sewing, spending quality time with her daughters and she’s passionate about writing. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”