Times have changed and so has Kitchen Design. We are living longer and healthier lives and many of us want to live independently in the homes and locations we are used to. In order to stay in our homes, we must make sure that our homes are safe and accommodate the needs of an aging individual or couple. What should “Aging in Place” design accomplish?
SAFETY – We need to eliminate the possibility of falling. If an elderly person falls, it can easily result in broken bones, hospital stays and even infection or possibly death. Area rugs are easy to trip on and should be eliminated. Tile floors, especially in bathrooms, should be non-slip (textured and not slick). Showers and tubs should have grab bars in the appropriate locations. There should be a seat inside the shower (for washing legs and feet) as well as a seat outside the shower (for drying legs and feet). All faucets should be easy to reach and turn (I prefer mixer faucets),
PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE – There may come a time when one of us will require a wheelchair. All doorways and pathways in the kitchen and elsewhere in the home should be wide enough for a wheelchair to pass through and spaces to allow the wheel chair to turn around. The kitchen plan should include some work surfaces that are lower and open underneath for easy clearance and access. There should be plenty of lighting in all the right places as eyesight fades as we age. Cabinet hardware should be easy to grasp – pulls might be better than knobs and the pulls should have closed ends so as not to become “pocket grabbers”. This is the same with kitchen appliances. Make sure the controls are easy to grasp and turn.
All of these things are critical to keep in mind when considering home design. It is easy and not expensive so DO IT !!!!!