A Thank You To My Father

A Thank You To My Father

Kitchen Remodeling Tips For Independent Seniors

Zoe Gonzalez

Mobility issues and the fear of falling are frequent concerns among senior citizens, especially if they live alone. Although some older Americans address these issues by moving into an assisted living facility or into the home of a child or relative, others would prefer to find a solution that allows them to remain as independent as possible as they age. If you are a senior who would like to remain at home, opting for home renovations such as a kitchen remodel can help remove mobility obstacles and create a safer home environment.

Customizing Kitchens for Long Term Use by Seniors

As people age, their ability to stand and walk can be impaired by injuries, illness or the aging process itself. In order to create a kitchen where these seniors can safely prepare meals it is important to make changes that will allow them to reach cooking utensils, pantry items and appliances when both standing and sitting. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is to make changes in the cabinetry and layout of the kitchen in the following manner:

  • remove hard to reach upper level cabinets and replace them with open shelves that can be accessed from a standing position as well as from a wheelchair or sitting position when using an extension gripping device
  • replace existing lower cabinetry with open shelving and self-closing drawers for convenient storage
  • install convenient, safe work areas that can be used while both standing and sitting, such as two separate food preparations areas, one at standard height and one for use with a wheelchair
  • lower the sink to wheelchair height and create open space below it for knee room
  • arrange cabinetry so that all types of wheelchairs, walkers and canes can be used easily without crowding
  • install faucets that use levers instead of knobs

Utilizing Safe Surfaces

In addition to the cabinetry and layout changes, the best kitchen remodels for seniors will also include safer surfaces by incorporating slip-resistant flooring choices and the elimination of sharp edges on countertops and shelving. Additionally, choose countertop materials that can withstand the heat from a hot pot without marring the surface, to prevent burns and spills that often occur when fumbling for trivets or pot holders. Remember to insulate exposed plumbing and drain lines in the knee hole areas under sinks and counters to avoid possible burns from exposure to hot water supply pipes and drain lines.

When designing your kitchen to accommodate the aging process, get an expert opinion from a knowledgeable, reputable contractor who specializes in kitchen remodel projects in your area. They will be able to assess your current kitchen, answer specific design questions and help you achieve a kitchen that will be safe, convenient and attractive for decades to come.


2021© A Thank You To My Father
About Me
A Thank You To My Father

My name is Sara Jenkins and I am the daughter of a plumber. As a young girl, I was not very impressed by what my father did for a living, but I loved spending time with him so I was thrilled each time he asked me to help with a repair around the house. What I didn't realize at the time was that my father was teaching me skills that would prove incredibly useful in my adult life. Today, thanks to him, I have completed a long list of plumbing jobs in my own home without the need to hire a contractor. This blog is my way of saying thank you to him by sharing all of the things that he has taught me about home repairs and construction.