With more of the Baby Boomer generation aging, the concept of aging in place has become more prominent. Modifications in living spaces make it possible for seniors who might otherwise move to assisted living facilities to remain independent and in their own homes. One of the most important spaces to consider when planning spaces for aging seniors is the kitchen. The following five aging in place kitchen design ideas help make it possible for seniors to remain in their homes for as long as possible.
Incorporate Rounded Edges
Sharp edges on countertops, tables, and other kitchen surfaces can produce painful bruises and even puncture wounds when you bump into them. Opt for rounded corners on kitchen surfaces to reduce the risk of such injuries.
Opt for a Shallow Sink
Huge sinks can be handy for draining pasta, and represent a source of strain for aging arms. Opt for a shallow sink of 6 or 8 inches deep to make it easier to rinse vegetables and wash dishes.
Think Drawers, Not Doors
Large, wide drawers allow pots, pans, and small appliances to be stored where they are easily accessible, rather than hidden behind other items in a pantry. Drawers at least 30 inches wide allow for ample storage for even the largest pots and pans.
Reduce Slip and Trip Floor Hazards
Falls represent one of the biggest hazards for seniors. Once a senior has fallen once, it is more likely for future falls to occur – each more debilitating than the last. Replace slippery laminate floors and area rugs with textured materials such as porcelain tile. As a bonus, porcelain tile is also easily cleaned and maintained.
Many seniors suffer from limited mobility, requiring a walker, scooter, or a wheelchair to get around. ADA guidelines call for at least 60 inches of clearance between cabinets and appliances in U-shaped kitchens, and a minimum of 40 inches of clearance in galley-style kitchens.
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