Alternative Care Solutions
As the baby – boomer generation began reaching retirement age in recent years; the topic of aging in place has been at the forefront as the medical community scrambles to take on the challenge of so many new entrants into the elderly community. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that within the next 10 years the growing elderly population will reach 20 percent of the total population, and they project it to remain at or above that level indefinitely. As the different options for taking care of the aging population have been researched and weighed, a popular alternative has come to the forefront. Many people are choosing to stay in their homes and ‘age in place’ over moving to the traditional nursing home. As a result, many in-home medical care providers have sprung up providing the elderly community with a cost-effective alternative. Many of these companies, in turn, promote making some home modifications so that space is more adaptive to future needs and potential limitations.
The kitchen is often the heart of the home, but for the elderly with limitations, it can seem more like an impassable barricade than a space that they can freely use and enjoy. When looking to modify a space for the elderly it is important to take into account the major limitations they will face; such as bending, kneeling, or reaching. There is a vast array of cabinet accessory products, like those that Kitchen Wise offers, that can provide solutions to the limitations that will be faced. Drawers in place of base cabinets, or utilizing roll-out shelves, is a popular option for making items below the counter more accessible. For those hard to reach places over-head, upper-cabinet pull-outs are a popular alternative. Not only do these storage solutions offer a solution to those with limited range-of-motion, but they also maximize your cabinets’ storage capacity.
Here are some other helpful kitchen tips to consider when planning a kitchen that allows somebody to age in place.
- Lower or raise countertops depending on who is using them and how they will be used. Making countertops easier to work at while sitting or standing can make a world of difference to somebody with back trouble or somebody in a wheelchair. Another option to consider is a multi-level countertop that can accommodate different abilities and purposes.
- Knobs and pulls that are easy to grasp, such as ‘D’ shaped pulls, can be easier to grasp for the less dexterous.
- Wall ovens are a great way to avoid having to bend over and lift. They can be installed at a comfortable height for the user.
- Appliances that are easy to use and also easy to read may be a good investment.
Let The Pro’s Help
It is important to get it right when planning for the future. Trying to account for all of the potential limitations that may arise, or trying to figure out which of the many solutions out there will be the best for your situation can be daunting. That is why Kitchen Wise offers no pressure in-home consultations. Our experienced consultants can help guide you through the planning stages as you create a space that will function the way you need it to for years to come.