A Few Low-Cost Ways To Improve Kitchen Accessibility
The kitchen is the heart of the home and having an accessible kitchen for the elderly provides a great deal of empowerment, dignity, and comfort to them. The kitchen is the one place in the home where memories are usually made and is a space where your basic need for food is met. For this reason, it is essential that the elderly are able to easily use this space. There are many low-cost ways to update the kitchen so that older persons are able to have more independence at home.
We will now look at a few low-cost ways in which you can change your kitchen.
Pulls For Cabinets
Most typical cabinets have knobs and handles that are actually quite difficult to hold by persons with limited dexterity. As a result, this slows down meal prep and makes it more frustrating. There are actually ADA requirements which indicate that the cabinet pulls be easy to open using only one hand. The pull should be made in such a way that it does not require twisting the wrist or pinching. So, you should replace the typical cabinet knobs with a U-shaped pull or handle that is easy to use.
In Houston assisted living, the faucet of every sink needs to be accessible by persons in a wheelchair. As a result, you need to closely consider where it is placed. If possible, you should place the faucet on the side of the sink so that it is closer to the counter. This is an unconventional way to place a faucet, but it will make it much more accessible.
Also, it is best to install a faucet with a single lever or a touch faucet. Temperature controls should also be installed to prevent scalding.
Drawers & Cabinets
If there are lower cabinets that require crouching down in order to access the items in the cabinet, then this can be very challenging for elderly adults. Therefore, it is best to install drawers that fully extend out when pulled.
Also, if there is an adult that is in a wheelchair, you should lower any overhead cabinets so they can easily reach them.
If the elderly adults in the home have vision problems, then there are a few cheap solutions that can be considered. One option is to use a contrasting border to outline where the wall begins and the floor ends. You can also change the color of the tiles or wood in specific areas so that the person can tell the difference.
Another solution is to paint red nail polish on the “off” switch of the stove so that a person with poor vision can easily determine whether the stove is off or not. You can also use puffy type paint to create raised markings on various knobs of appliances for easy use.
If you don’t have much of a budget, then you probably won’t be able to lower the kitchen counter for a person in a wheelchair to use it. However, a cost-effective option would be to place a shorter work table in the kitchen that is at the appropriate height for a wheelchair user.
Lastly, before you start overhauling the kitchen, you should have a closer look at your kitchen and how all the items are organized. It may be possible to simply re-organize the kitchen better so that items that are frequently used are on the lower shelves. By re-organizing the kitchen, you can make it more accessible without spending any money.