As you age there are several things you can do to your kitchen to increase usability and safety, let’s get started with the top 3.
#1 – Lighting. As we age our eyes absorb less light; we need brighter lighting to see better. One simple upgrade you can make is to change your light bulbs to a brighter wattage or better bulb, like LED or compact fluorescent bulbs. But be careful of the ‘temperature’ or the light. Colour temperature is really a personal preference, however food tends to look more appetizing under warmer lighting.
Updating the whole fixture may be necessary to increase the lighting in the kitchen. A track light may offer more directional lighting to illuminate the work spaces and walking areas.
Installing additional lighting may also be required to obtain the best working environment, especially under-cabinet lighting. This option will definitely increase the light in the prep areas, ensuring you can see exactly what you are doing. Keep in mind new technologies make this upgrade relatively simple and inexpensive.
#2 – Cabinet hardware. D-shaped handles on all doors and drawers will make opening cabinets and moving around in your kitchen easier and safer. D-shaped handles are much easier to grab, even with only one finger, than a round knob. They are also virtually impossible to catch your clothing on. A knob or protruding handle can catch on your pocket or apron and throw you off balance; a D-shaped handle’s design prevents this and helps keep you safe when moving around in your kitchen. And with today’s sleek and modern designs, this small upgrade can update the whole look of your kitchen!
#3 – Drawers. Installing drawers where you currently have shelving in your lower cabinets will make your life much easier. Bending down to dig around for items on the shelving can make you off balance and dizzy, potentially leading to a fall or injury. This upgrade is relatively easy and inexpensive because you can purchase drawers that fit inside your current cabinetry, using your current cabinet doors. The shelf comes out, the drawer goes in! Now you will be able to reach anything in that cupboard, simply pull out the drawer.
These are the top 3 simple upgrades you can do to increase usability and safety in your kitchen.