While your loved one might love cooking, when they get to a certain age, you might find yourself worrying about them spending too much time in the kitchen. Because the kitchen is already one of the most dangerous rooms in the home, having someone who is forgetful, physically limited, or otherwise dealing with the effects of age can make you very nervous to have them in the kitchen. But if you’re able to make some adjustments to the kitchen, both you and your loved one can feel a lot more comfortable with their continued cooking or baking.
To help you know which changes to make, here are three ways to adjust the kitchen for elderly cooks.
Make All Shelves Able To Pull Out
In areas where elderly people will be living or working, like in assisted living communities, you may have noticed that any shelves or cabinets in that space have the ability to be pulled out. This is a great adjustment to make because it allows elderly people, and even those who aren’t elderly, to easily see and access items that are being stored.
If your kitchen doesn’t currently have pull-out drawers in the cabinets or cupboards, consider making this change. With this feature in your kitchen, or even in your bathroom or other storage areas, getting to items that are stored in the back will become much easier.
Keep Everything Within Easy Reach
Many kitchens have cupboards and storage that span the entire height of the room. And while having this extra space can be convenient, if you have an elderly cook in the kitchen, you probably won’t want them getting up too high or bending down too low to get the items they need.
With this in mind, you should try to keep everything that your elderly loved one cooks with within easy reach for them. In some kitchens, this might mean simply rearranging where certain things go. But in other kitchens, you might need to do things like replace the sink with a shallower one or bring the microwave to torso level.
Swap Out Cabinet Hardware
As many people get older, their dexterity tends to diminish. This can make things like opening doors or cabinets especially challenging.
To ensure that this isn’t an issue for your loved one, you may want to swap out the cabinet hardware within your kitchen. Replace any knobs that you currently have with handles or pulls that are wider and easier for older hands to grab onto. Or, you could also replace your drawers or cabinets with ones that open by pushing on them so now hardware is even necessary.
If your elderly loved one wants to keep cooking and baking, consider using the tips mentioned above to help make the kitchen a safe and enjoyable workspace for them.