Remodeling Your Kitchen For Senior Living

Kitchen
Creative Commons License photo credit: juhansonin
The kitchen is the true hub of a home. Yet as the years go by, many features never considered in a kitchen, become an obstacle in the Senior years.
Accessibility and convenience in a kitchen now is no longer a luxury, but essential for Senior living. The young person climbs up to get things out of high cabinets. One never thinks of the number of times bending down or reaching back into a cabinet. Does the floor need cleaning? Getting on your hand and knees to do the job comes almost instinctively. At some point, however, in everyone?s life, these options are no longer as simple, and to some may become impossible. So, do you call in the kids or hire someone to make your meals? Do you abandon the home you love because you can no longer care for yourself?
Three main considerations highlight remodeling a kitchen for Senior living: the floor, the lighting, and accessibility.
Floors
To prevent falls and to reduce strain:
1. Remove area rugs.
2. Install softer, natural flooring, with texture.
Lighting
Seniors need three times more lighting and are more sensitive to glare.
1. Insure 60 watts light bulbs.
2. Install under cabinet lighting.
Accessibility
General rule is to keep as much as possible at waist level. Eliminate reaching up or bending down.
1. Elevate the oven and dishwasher. Install the microwave at a lower level or keep on the counter.
2. Consider induction cooking.
2. Install slide out drawers or lazy susans in cabinets.
3. Replace knob faucets on kitchen sink with lever or motion sensitive faucets. Additionally, be sure to adjust water temperature to a safer, non-scalding temperature.
4. Have countertops at convenient height, insuring there are rounded corners.
5. Use D shaped handles on all cabinets, rather than knobs or curved handles, for easier gripping.
The time to think about remodeling your kitchen for Senior living is before it becomes an insurmountable problem. There are so many features available that make a kitchen safer and more convenient now, which also serve as insurance for your future independence in your own home.