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Last updated on: February 6th, 2020
Being old or disabled can be challenging especially when you want to do things in the kitchen.
There are many factors that bring about limitations and both the elderly and disabled people always find it hard to do things as other people would easily do them.
When designing a kitchen for these two categories of people, it will be important to consider a number of factors that are meant to make their movement ease and also enhance the ability to access different things within the room.
The kitchen design should first of all be safe and also done in such a way that it meets their needs.
This article will discuss some 7 tips you can use when designing a kitchen for disabled and elderly people.
They include the following:
When designing a kitchen for the elderly and disabled people, the first thing you need to consider is efficiency.
This has to do with general planning and you should consider a few aspects such as the nearness of the kitchen to the primary entrance.
It is also good to consider other things such as the vicinity of the kitchen to their dining area and the ease with which they can dispose the garbage.
The best kitchen for the physically challenged and elderly people should at least maximize independence and convenience.
Minimize on effort
The kitchen design for the disabled and elderly people should demand very minimal effort whenever they need to do anything such as washing dishes, cooking or disposing of garbage.
As such, it is important to have appliances that make their work easier including dishwasher, cabinets and food processor among others.
Make sure the cabinets are within reach and very minimal effort is required to access them.
Provide maneuvering space
Space is very important when designing a kitchen for the elderly and physically challenged people.
While it’s true to say that some kitchens are small and thus nothing much can be done to expand them, the other side of the coin is also true that much can be done to use less space when furnishing.
As such, it is important to have small appliances that will do the work and if possible go for those that capable of handling multiple functions.
There should be enough space to use things such as walkers or wheelchairs if need be.
Adjust countertop heights
The last thing you want is to have the disabled and elderly standing for hours when preparing foods in the kitchen.
Even when they stand, it should only be for a short time and the best way to deal with this is to adjust the countertop and drawer height so that these two are accessible even by those confined to a wheelchair.
Let the height be between 28 and 40 inches to not only be reachable but also minimize too much bending.
Make sure the kitchen is well lit and that the switches are within reach and inaccessible points.
You should make sure that the area around the countertops and other frequently used places are brightly lit without any obstruction.
Additionally, let the passage area also have sufficient lighting to enhance safety at all times.
In fact, make sure that there is a socket right next to the door which can be used when entering into the kitchen.
Don’t buy complicated electrical appliances
The disabled and elderly people also need to have electrical appliances that would help make their food preparation and cooking easier and faster.
As such, it is good to equip the kitchen with the essentials but when doing this, make sure you consider their safety.
Always go for appliances designed for people with compromised strength, mobility, eyesight and dexterity.
The knobs should be easily accessible and also easy to operate without the appliances falling over.
As you design the kitchen, make sure you do not overlook the floor.
Whether building a new kitchen or remodeling the old one, the kitchen should be done in such a way that all the risks are eliminated for the users.
Make sure you have an anti-skid floor that offers a better grip for the two groups of people at all times.
Any mats or carpets should be made in such a way that they do not slip even if one was using a walker.
These are some of the most important tips to consider even as you work towards making the kitchen attractive and functional.
You should also remember to use the right handles for the cabinet doors and drawers with the D-shaped ones being the most preferred.
You may want to purchase kitchen appliances for the elders that suit your kitchen design.
But remember that the appliances should be hassle-free, easy to clean, and durable.
So, it is recommended that buy each appliance after checking some reviews so that elder people do not face problems while using them.
You can check some of the kitchen appliances review from the village bakery as it offers a wealth of information about this and other cooking topics.