Creating a Kitchen Remodel That’s Easily Accessible

The trend of ‘aging in place’ gains more and more popularity every year. However, as we age, even simple tasks like cooking or moving around the house can become a hassle.
That’s why creating an accessible kitchen for seniors who wish to remain in their homes can significantly improve their quality of life. Luckily, this can be done by making a few thoughtful design choices and incorporating accessibility features.
In this article, we’ll outline different ways to make your kitchen remodel accessible for yourself or elderly family members, ensuring you have all the tips to create a stylish space and a comfortable cooking environment.

Aim for an Open Layout

A crucial aspect of an accessible kitchen is an open layout design, which allows for easy navigation for senior homeowners or anyone with mobility issues. Your kitchen’s walkways should be wide enough and comfortable for a person using a walker or a wheelchair. Aim for a minimum width of 36 inches, especially where there are turns or corners. If you can make those less sharp, that’s even better. There should also be enough space around the refrigerator, dishwasher, and stove. Make sure you provide room for the appliances’ doors to open fully without any obstruction.

Incorporating open shelves into your kitchen remodel design can be helpful as well, as they make it easier for you to access cookware, dishes, ingredients, or whatever is needed at the moment. Use pull-out drawers in lower cabinets to make items more accessible without the need to bend or reach deep.

Incorporate Slip-Resistant Floors

Unfortunately, falls are the main cause of injury for adults over 65 years of age. That’s why we emphasize that incorporating slip-resistant kitchen flooring is crucial, both for our and our loved ones’ safety. Slippery floors can be hazardous, particularly in areas where water or spills are common, such as near the sink or refrigerator, so opt for slip-resistant flooring materials, such as cork, rubber, or textured tiles. Even when the floor is wet, these materials provide better traction and reduce the risk of slipping. Also, use rugs or mats with non-slip backing and make sure they’re secured firmly to the floor to prevent them from slipping or bunching up. Avoid thick rugs or carpets if someone in a wheelchair is using the kitchen.
Pay attention to the floor levels in general, ensuring that there aren’t any changes that could disrupt the movement, whether that’s inside the kitchen itself or in thresholds between rooms.
A modern kitchen remodel with elegant lighting

Install Proper Lighting

Good lighting is a must for an accessible kitchen. This is why we recommend installing task lighting above key working areas, such as countertops, stoves, and sinks. Under-cabinet lighting is an excellent option, as it directs light onto the surfaces without casting shadows.
Besides having focused illumination, pay attention to ambient lighting so that the entire kitchen is well-lit and comfortable. Ceiling lights, such as track or recessed lighting, are the best for the even distribution of light throughout the space. To be more energy efficient and add to the convenience, you can also incorporate motion-activated lights that automatically turn on when they detect motion.
Still, whenever possible, maximize the number of sources of natural light in your kitchen. Large windows or glass doors are a great option. This ameliorates visibility and provides a connection to the outdoors, which is even more important for elderly people.

Choose Accessible Kitchen Appliances

When selecting appliances for your kitchen remodel, opt for those with user-friendly features. Look for appliances with controls that are easy to read and understand. The buttons should have clear labels because they’re easier for individuals with vision impairments to operate.
In that sense, appliances based on smart technology can be greatly beneficial. They can be controlled remotely or with voice commands, and they can also provide notifications and reminders. When it comes to size, choose lightweight appliances that are easy to maneuver, even for people with limited strength or mobility. Install them at easily reachable heights from a seated position to avoid unnecessary bending or stretching.

Considering the safety aspects of kitchen remodeling, it’s convenient to get devices with built-in security features, such as automatic shut-off or lock-out. They can help prevent accidents, as well as reduce utility bills.

Kitchen appliances with user-friendly controls for a more accessible kitchen

Get a User-Friendly Sink

The need for bending over can be significantly reduced if you choose a sink with a shallow basin. Besides that, you can go for a hands-free faucet with motion sensor technology that allows you to use it without needing to turn a handle.
A sink with a pull-out or pull-down sprayer is a convenient option for those with mobility issues, as it allows them to direct the water flow where needed. If the sink has controls for hot and cold water, ensure they’re easy to reach and operate. You can do this by installing lever-style handles or touch controls, which can be easier to use than traditional knobs. Last but not least, creating a kitchen remodel that’s easily accessible includes placing the sink at a height that’s comfortable for the user. Consider a sink with an open space underneath for individuals in wheelchairs. Make sure that there’s adequate storage space for cleaning supplies or other items as well. Pull-out shelves or baskets are a great accessible option.

Place Grab Bars

Putting grab bars in key areas of the kitchen can contribute to safety and accessibility for seniors or individuals with mobility issues. They’re helpful near the stove, sink, and other working areas.
The most important moment when it comes to bars is to securely attach them to the wall so that they can support the user’s weight. They should be long enough, extending at least 12 inches beyond the edge of the appliance nearby. Don’t forget to install them at a height that’s comfortable and accessible, ideally around 33 to 36 inches above the floor. Look for those with a non-slip surface to provide a secure grip, even when hands are wet or slippery.

Choose The Best In Kentucky

Designing a kitchen remodel that is both stylish and accessible doesn’t have to break the bank. At Bluegrass Haven, we understand the importance of creating spaces that accommodate everyone, regardless of age or mobility. If the idea of transforming your kitchen into a user-friendly, accessible area feels overwhelming, we’re here to help.
Our team is dedicated to implementing practical solutions that enhance safety, ease of use, and overall comfort in your kitchen. From selecting slip-resistant flooring to ensuring ample, well-placed lighting, we guide you through each decision, balancing cost-efficiency with functionality. We specialize in choosing appliances and fixtures designed for ease of use, ensuring they fit your budget while meeting your needs.