The kitchen is the most dangerous part of the house, excluding the tool shed. With items like hot stovetops, sharp knives, wet or slippery floor tiles, your kitchen is hazard-prone for both kids and adults.
Furthermore, the elderly can be particularly at risk. So, as we get older, it’s advisable to modify our kitchens to be senior-friendly in all aspects.
As winter approaches with the days becoming shorter, appropriate lighting at nighttime is becoming increasingly important. A lot of people struggle with their vision, and when you handle a sharp knife, you should be able to see just like you would in broad daylight.
A light-emitting diode (LED) strip that you stick beneath your kitchen cabinet’s base should cast adequate light on the tabletop where you cut and peel things. You also have to place LEDs over other work areas and your storage room, like the pantry or basement.
Apart from that, light controllers must be easy to switch on and off: You can make use of rocker switches for this purpose. They are ideal for senior citizens as they can be flipped with less effort. Our grip force usually gets weaker as our physical activity reduces.
A user-friendly kitchen tap
For things to be easy to use in the kitchen, the tap must also work. Change the outdated faucet with a recent and easier to use lever tap. Over time, turning knobs become more complicated, so the homeowner has to use more and more force until the faucet finally breaks on the inside.
Another clean solution is fittings with motion detectors, such as those found in restaurants and shopping malls. With these faucets, there’s no longer any need to grip and turn, nor is there any chance that an older man or woman will forget to turn off the water. This action is taken care of automatically.
Ensure that all devices are not dangerous to use
Only a few rooms in your home pose a greater shock risk than your kitchen. Lots of electrical devices found in the kitchen, including a blender, fridge, can be fatal if a short circuit occurs. It may look obvious, but you have to make sure all kitchen devices are 100% secure to utilize.
Fortunately, this doesn’t cost you an excessive amount of money, since it’s perfectly okay to search for the parts of household appliances you need. Replace them as opposed to procuring a brand new cooker hood or a toasting machine.
Furthermore, ensure a certified electronics technician does the mending and replacements of the old, damaged parts.
Navigating the kitchen with colors
Aging with dignity is a goal for several people but believe it, or not, some people are beginning to develop dementia, or their eyesight is severely impaired. It’s proving difficult for such individuals to find their way around the kitchen and locate the various appliances and, most importantly, safely operate them.
Rather than buying labels with colors, you can make use of what you have in the house like nail polish. Paint all the taps, knobs, and switches using the color red, indicating the “off” point, and green, signifying the “on” side.
This makes the regulators visible from the other end of the room. You can also make use of raised markers to write a note in Braille letters, something that seniors are already familiar with at pharmaceuticals.
Growing older is inevitable, but a fall in the kitchen is certainly something you can avert. Just as you’ve most likely fortified the edges of the stairs all over the house, you should do the same to the kitchen floor by covering it with strips of non-slip tape.
Another way to avoid slipping is the use of anti-slip mats as used in warehouses and factories. As stated above, you can make use of colors to differentiate the point the floor stops and where the wall starts or a low step is situated.
Easily accessible storage units
We have commented on the importance of strong lighting installation in storage units. Aside from an appropriate level of lighting, the storage rooms must be within reach.
For instance, cutlery items for daily use have to be kept in cupboards nearby and shelves where you can pick them up quickly.
An additional storage alternative is pull-outs, like drawers. These must be adequately lubricated and furnished with pads and linings to stop the drawer from closing with force and injuring your fingers.
Spring-loaded shelves are another practical choice for the kitchen. Finally, anything that’s not used frequently, like big pans and pots, should be positioned at the top layers in the cabinet’s back.
This step is necessary since you won’t have any need for them every day. Still, you can make use of them easily anytime the kids or grandchildren visit their parents.
Furnishing the kitchen in a senior-friendly way is a wise move, even if you or your parents haven’t yet felt the struggles of growing old.
With Gratitude and Love