Remodeling for Accessibility in the Kitchen
Remodeling with the future in mind is an important aspect to consider when making any of your design and product decisions. Creating a safe environment in your kitchen and bathroom is essential for all age groups, but especially for those approaching their golden years or need a functional and accessible space for their needs.
As we see many of our clients staying in their homes longer, creating a stylish and functional space that is safe is a priority. Remodeling should always incorporate safety but will become a key focus when considering the future and present demands.
The kitchen design should give residents the best use of their space and keep them independent by making a few simple design changes.
Pull Out Drawers in the Kitchen
Having lower pull out drawers in the kitchen is a great way to make your space safer for the elderly and convenient for those with limited mobility. Instead of storing your dishes in an upper cabinet where you’d have to reach overhead or use a stool, consider changing the location to a lower oversized cabinet drawer. This makes it easily accessible and gives independence for simple tasks of using and storing dishes.
We recommend using oversized pullout drawers for storing your dishes, as well as your pots and pans. You can also use pull out cabinets for storing pantry items, or lazy susans for those hard to reach spots in the back of your cabinets.
Use Pull Handles
Make sure you use easy-to-grab pull handles for your cabinets instead of nobs. This is especially important for those with arthritis, where having a firm grasp can be hard. Keep function and ease of use top of mind when choosing your cabinet hardware. Additionally, pull handles will give a more balanced glide and maintains the lifespan of your drawers.
If you love your kitchen aide, installing a mixer lift is an easy way to store and use your kitchen accessory while maintaining clear countertops. A mixer lift is typically installed in a lower cabinet with an outlet and will lift to countertop height for your convenience. No need to worry about lifting your appliance to the countertop as well.
Change Your Microwave Location
In some homes, the microwave is installed above the stove and doubles as a range hood. When remodeling though, consider a location that won’t be above a hot surface if you need to use the countertop for extra stability. Consider moving your “on-demand” appliance to an upper or lower cabinet location, depending on your specific needs.
Easy Maintenance Countertops
Hygienically sound countertops are a must for an easy maintenance kitchen. Opt for quartz or solid surface countertops which are nonporous and stain-resistant. There are a variety of colors and styles available. See more about countertop options here.
Lower Height of Countertops
For a complete ADA kitchen, we would discuss with our client about lowering the countertop height to accommodate wheelchair use in the kitchen or create multi-level heights. With this adjustment, it is also important to have areas with no cabinetry, or what we call “barrier-free”. This is most useful for directly under the sink and stovetop.
Smart Technology in Your Kitchen
For added convenience add smart home technology to your kitchen. You can command your faucet to fill the dog bowl, or simply touch the faucet to turn it on or off. Read more about the updates you can make in our Smart Home blog here.
There are many design and product decisions to consider when remodeling for aging in place or with accessibility in mind. We covered the basics changes that could be made in the kitchen, and have several thoughts on updating your bathroom for safer use for all needs, click here to read.
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