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5 Kitchen Remodeling Tips for Aging in Place Safely and Comfortably

5 Helpful Kitchen Renovation Tips for Seniors Aging in Place in Plymouth and the Surrounding Communities of Minnesota

According to a Home Preferences Study conduct by AARP, over 77% of seniors express a desire to remain in their homes as they age. As the desire for aging in place grows among seniors, ensuring the home environment is both accessible and safe becomes paramount. Particularly in areas like the kitchen, where daily tasks can pose challenges, thoughtful home modifications can significantly enhance seniors' ability to maintain independence and security within their own homes. In this post, we'll explore five invaluable kitchen remodeling tips aimed at helping seniors age in place.

Here are five key areas to prioritize when considering updates for your kitchen, whether for yourself or a loved one, with the aim of facilitating aging in place.

Before diving into our aging in place kitchen remodeling tips, are you aware that TruBlue of Plymouth & Maple Grove specializes in assisting seniors within the Minnesota community with home projects specifically tailored to aging in place? Learn more about our aging in place home services in Plymouth, Maple Grove, and the surrounding Minnesota communities.

Now, on to our aging in place kitchen remodeling tips.

Make it Easy to Move Around the Kitchen

For seniors, a kitchen that is easy to maneuver is crucial. This means clear pathways and sufficient floor space to allow wheelchairs or walking aids to pass through unobstructed. Even if you or your senior loved one does not currently use a walking aid, it is important to create a kitchen space that can accommodate aging in place in the future.

Here are a few ways to make a seniors kitchen more accessible and ideal for aging at home, longterm:

Widen Walkways

Consider widening the standard 36-inch walkways to approximately 42 inches, promoting enhanced mobility throughout the kitchen. Removing extra furniture and appliances that contribute to cramped spaces can vastly improve accessibility and overall comfort for seniors. This straightforward adjustment not only benefits seniors but also enhances safety and ease of movement for all household members by ensuring clear pathways throughout the kitchen.

Anti-Slip Flooring

Choose flooring materials that are non-slip and easy to clean, like textured tiles or cushioned vinyl. Be mindful of minimal floor height changes to avoid tripping hazards. Additionally, consider the aesthetic appeal and durability of the flooring to create a safe and stylish environment for you or your senior loved one.

No-Touch Faucets

Install touchless faucets to facilitate easy access to water without the need to twist or turn handles. This small change can make a big difference for seniors. Touchless faucets promote good hygiene by reducing a seniors contact with germs, making them a great addition to any kitchen or bathroom. Embracing this technology not only adds a touch of luxury to a seniors home but also contributes to a more efficient and hygienic environment, which are important for seniors who want to remain independent at home for as long as possible.

Facilitate Accessibility in the Kitchen

Reaching high or bending low can be a challenging for seniors.

To make kitchen items more reachable, here are a few kitchen renovation projects that can make the kitchen a more accessible place for seniors wanting to age in place:

Adjustable Shelving

Install adjustable shelving units that can be easily moved up or down to accommodate various heights. For example, seniors can lower shelves to easily access heavier items or raise them to make room for taller pots and pans. This adaptability allows seniors to organize their kitchen space according to their individual preferences and physical capabilities, promoting independence and convenience.

Pull-Out Shelves

Maximize cabinet space with pull-out shelves for easy access to pots, pans, and pantry items. Furthermore, pull-out shelves enhance safety by reducing the need to reach far into cabinets, which can pose a risk of strain or imbalance, particularly for individuals with limited mobility or stability concerns. Seniors can simply slide out the shelf to access items within arm's reach, minimizing the risk of accidents or injuries associated with overreaching or bending awkwardly.

D-Ring Pulls

In addition to maximizing cabinet space with pull-out shelves, another beneficial modification for seniors is replacing traditional knobs and pulls with D-ring or C-ring style handles. These handles offer a more ergonomic design, featuring larger grips that are easier to grasp and require less dexterity to operate. By opting for this style of handles, seniors can effortlessly open drawers and cabinets without struggling with small or slippery knobs, enhancing their overall kitchen experience. Moreover, the improved grip reduces the risk of slips or accidents, providing added reassurance for seniors navigating their kitchen environment.

Ensure Visibility is Clear in the Kitchen

Effective lighting and clear visual accessibility are essential components of an aging-friendly kitchen. Inadequate lighting and poorly labeled items can not only increase the risk of accidents but also cause frustration for seniors. To enhance visibility and ease of use in the kitchen, consider the following kitchen enhancements.

Under-Cabinet Lighting

Install under-cabinet LED lights to provide additional illumination on work surfaces, making it easier to see while preparing meals. These lights not only brighten up the workspace but also reduce shadows, ensuring seniors have optimal visibility for tasks. Additionally, choosing LED lights offers energy efficiency and longevity, making them a practical and sustainable lighting solution for the kitchen.

Large-Print Labels

An easy update that goes a long way is labeling and organizing kitchen items in large, high-contrast print. Seniors can use labels that contrast with the color of their cabinets to make them stand out, ensuring clarity and ease of identification. This simple adjustment not only aids seniors in locating items quickly but also promotes independence and efficiency in the kitchen.

Simplify the Use of Kitchen Appliances

Operating kitchen appliances can be challenging for seniors, especially those with complex controls or small buttons. Simplify the process and enhance accessibility by considering the following adjustments:

Appliance Leveling

Ensure that appliances are easily accessible and securely positioned. Opt for appliances at a reachable height and consider using platforms to elevate them, minimizing the need for seniors to bend or strain themselves during use.

Simplified Controls

Opt for kitchen appliances featuring large, easy-to-read controls, or alternatively, consider painting buttons with high-visibility colors to enhance usability, especially for seniors with visual impairments.

Make It Easy to Clean the Kitchen

Maintaining a tidy and well-organized kitchen is crucial for both convenience and health, especially for seniors looking to age in place. By ensuring a clean kitchen environment, seniors can enhance safety, reduce the risk of accidents, and promote a sense of independence and well-being. Here are some adjustments that can help seniors navigate their kitchen space more easily:

Minimize Clutter

Organize cabinets and drawers efficiently to minimize clutter and make cleaning simpler and less time-consuming.

Low-Maintenance Surfaces

Choose quartz or solid surface countertops as they are resistant to stains and easy to clean. Opt for materials that do not require sealing or frequent maintenance.

By putting these tips into practice, you can create a kitchen environment that promotes safety, ease of use, and a continued sense of independence for those wishing to age in place. A well-thought-out kitchen design can significantly improve the quality of life for seniors by enabling them to maintain their daily routines and activities. It's an investment in comfort and peace of mind that's truly invaluable.

Ready to transform a kitchen into a place of accessibility and comfort? Our home project experts at TruBlue Plymouth & Maple Grove are here to help each step of the way. From personalized renovation projects to small updates, we ensure you or your loved ones kitchen is a perfect fit for aging in place.