Aging In Place: Kitchen Function Improves Usability Part II

We enter the kitchen with new eyes when we think about Aging in Style. The first thing we looked at was cabinetry, even the height of our clients can influence the best height for the cabinetry. Should we add a section with a lower countertop? Multiple heights are not only comfortable for people in wheelchairs or seated helpers, they accommodate children or someone doing a task that requires different leverage.

Sinks + Faucets: A faucet that easily converts to a spray, with good sink clearance, a large grip lever hle to control volume temperature is best. A not-too-deep single bowl sink, 7″ or so deep, is still big enough for a large pot, as long as the faucet is moveable, with a generous amout of space on either side of the sink for draining dishes, pots foods.

Curved corners in the sink are easier to clean, integrated Corian or Blanco ‘Granite’ sinks are very easy to keep free of germs.

inductioncooktop1Cooking:  Replacing a gas or electric cooktop with an induction cooktop is one of the best things you can do for the kitchen! They use MAGNETIC energy, only generate heat directly below the pot. There is no wasted heat or energy, they aresafer, as they reduce the opportunity for both elders with vision or memory issues, children, from burning themselves accidentally.

Lighting:  Include as much task lighting as possible in your new kitchen design. Use light colored work surfaces, brighten them with undermounted lighting on the cabinets, or low voltage lights targeting work surfaces. Then, you can even make your kitchen look bigger by strategically lighting walls under cabinets.

Flooring: Do your best to install a floor that has some co-efficient of friction to avoid slipping falls, especially when cooking oils, water, food cause extra-slippery conditions. Use a floor mat where possible next to the sink stove for comfort when sting for long periods, you may want to look into an anti-slip treatment for your floor. CKD CAPS Designer Jamie Goldberg in Tampa, FL,  recommends SureStep for this.