July 12, 2021
Senior Proofing Your Kitchen (for Yourself or a Loved One)
When you have a baby, everyone knows to install cabinet locks, move the knives, cover the corners… it’s all about keeping your little bundle of joy safe. But have you thought about the need to senior proof your kitchen? Unlike when you have a baby, this isn’t all about keeping you or your loved one safe, it’s about making sure your kitchen is ready to do its best work as your needs change. It’s more like future-proofing than baby proofing.
So what do you do? At TruBlue, we think there are two different approaches to two different situations:
First of all, if you are aging in place – or thinking about aging in place in the future – then you’ll want to take a look around your kitchen and think about the “wants” and the “needs” of a senior-proofed kitchen based on how you use it and the design you have in place. Do you have some arthritis in your hands? Perhaps a touchless faucet or easy open cabinets are a must. Do you routinely find yourself trying to get the teapot off the top shelf with a stool? Maybe it’s time to reorganize based on your everyday needs. There are projects you can do over time to help your kitchen grow with you and change as your needs change – and we can help.
The second situation is totally different. If you are moving a loved one in to live with you and they will be using the kitchen to do more than heat up lunch or get a glass of water, it’s important to think about how you can make your kitchen work for your family while also meeting the needs of your new senior roomie. It’s likely your loved one won’t be quick to tell that the lighting is too dim or the coffee cups are up too high, so this situation can be a little trickier. Think about the things that can be challenging for you in the kitchen, like a tight refrigerator door or a broken oven timer or even a slippery anti-fatigue mat, and plan for ways to quickly remedy those issues without making a big deal about the changes. Our top projects include things like installing under cabinet lights, anti-skid floor materials and swapping out cabinet hardware.
According to a survey by the AARP, at least 75 percent of retirees want to stay in their own homes and, if that’s not possible, living with family is often the preferable option. But staying safe, comfortable, healthy and active in a home not built with seniors in mind can take a little extra work. TruBlue is here to help.