Millions of Americans over the age of 60 express the desire to “age in place,” or continue living in their homes as they get older rather than move to an assisted living facility or retirement community. However, they may need to renovate their homes to make sure they can safely and comfortably complete their daily tasks as they live on their own.
The kitchen is a major hub in the home, but it is also a space that creates many safety hazards. To avoid falls, fires, or other serious accidents, you may need to make updates to this room to minimize these risks as well as make your everyday life easier.
You can meet with a home design professional who can consider your functional needs as well as your existing space to determine the best way to renovate your kitchen for aging in place. Review the following design factors you should consider if you intend to remodel your kitchen with aging residents in mind.
Strategic Kitchen Layouts
When you design your kitchen for aging in place, you will want to prioritize accessibility. This begins with ensuring you and other residents can navigate the kitchen with ease. You will want to ensure the working aisles and doorways into this room are not too narrow.
You might want to consider rounded edges in countertops and corners as you design your kitchen. This lowers the chances of banging an elbow or hip on a sharp edge as you move within this space.
Additional lighting for work surfaces should be considered. Appliance placement or type that allows easy use is important. A place to sit at chair level and work could make kitchen tasks more comfortable. Strategic design can ensure optimal functionality without compromising safety and comfort. Consult with Cabinet Discounters to learn how you can apply these concepts in your home.
Accessible Cabinet Design
Bending, crouching, and reaching can put strain on the muscles, especially in older individuals. Actions like these may heighten the risk of an injury. Avoid overexerting muscles by ensuring kitchen cabinets are installed at an accessible height, which may be lower than average.
A kitchen designed for aging in place can also benefit from roll out trays or a cabinet that features drawers. This allows for easy viewing of items stored toward the back of the cabinet. An expert designer can help you maximize storage in this space as well as accessibility.
Don’t forget that flooring in your kitchen is an important feature that you should not overlook when remodeling this room to improve accessibility. Slippery materials for floors and those that could easily become slick after a spill might create a serious fall hazard.
Easy-to-clean materials should be considered, which will make maintenance simpler and less hassle for you in the long run.