Have you given any thought to Ageing in Place kitchen design? …Whilst people are generally living longer in modern times, it is still a certainty that we will all eventually and in different ways succumb to the ageing process, or perhaps need to accommodate a relative or friend who is. Whilst we can’t prevent this, we can certainly help prepare ourselves for it, and one such means for doing so is considering Ageing in Place when designing a new kitchen. Personalised kitchen design is always important but if you hope to be in your home long-term, then planning a kitchen to suit you as comfortably now, as in twenty years’ time, is a truly positive experience that will help you stay put for longer whilst providing an all-around better quality of life!
Personalised kitchen design solutions for Ageing in Place
No matter your age, any kitchen options that reduce effort and exertion are a big ‘plus’ but this only becomes more beneficial as the years pass by. For anyone looking for advice on Ageing in Place kitchen design, here are some examples of clever kitchen innovations, and design features to help provide as much comfort, enjoyment, and ease now, as in later twilight years: –
- Pan drawers: Wide and deep, with a weight-bearing load of up to 70kg, pan drawers work on a touch to open, soft close system. This means they are not heavy to pull open and provide an abundance of visible and easily accessible storage space, without having to get down on hands and knees to find what you need at the back of a cupboard!
- Pull Out Pantries and Corner solutions: Pull out pantries and storage solutions such as Le mans corner units and Carousel units are better than cupboards for storage as they require less exertion to open and mean you can easily find what you need within the contents. They can also easily store small appliances such as slow cookers or juicers, making these heavier items easier to access and lift out.
- Sufficient space: Have you got a big family? You might not have grandkids yet, but you soon could! So perhaps you need additional seating options, space, and storage to accommodate visiting or future family members. Wide walkways also offer more space and can be useful for accommodating pushchairs, wheelchairs, or baby highchairs.
- Lever taps: Kitchen taps are one of the most hardworking fixtures within a kitchen, but twist handle taps can prove harder or painful to operate for anyone with joint complaints such as arthritis. They are also more difficult for small children to operate. Instead, lever taps are much easier for everyone to turn on and off.
- Induction hobs: These are a much safer option than gas hobs, eliminating the risk of burns or fire. They are also more energy-efficient than gas hobs so help keep energy bills down.
- Self-clean ovens: Everybody hates cleaning ovens, so why not save on elbow grease and let the oven’s pyrolytic cleaning function do the hard work for you!
- Kitchen lighting options: Whether old or young it is important to ensure sufficient and suitable lighting options within a kitchen, including effective task lighting to make light work of food prep and help prevent eye damage. Eyesight can deteriorate with age, but appropriate lighting can help protect it. Where possible natural light is also ideal as it creates a more enjoyable setting, which is good for general health and happiness too.
- Round off your worktop’s edges: Remove the chance of bruised hips or elbows by opting for rounded worktop edges over sharp 90-degree angles. This is also beneficial if you have young children or grandchildren whose head may be at just the right height for a nasty scrape!
- Wine coolers: Personalised kitchen design and kitchen design for Ageing in Place can include lifestyle-enhancing goods such as built-in wine racks and wine coolers. So, if you like to relax in the evening with a nice glass of wine, wine coolers represent an affordable kitchen luxury for storing your favourite bottle at exactly the right temperature!
- Put your sink and oven in close proximity:
Crossing a kitchen carrying hot food or a heavy pot is an undesirable risk in any kitchen, and even more so as we age, and this puts extra pressure on our arms or back. Instead, ensure your oven and sink are in close proximity and each with generous worksurface space (either next to, or opposite if it’s a galley layout) so you can set down pots or food as easily and quickly as possible.
- Raised dishwashers, ovens and microwaves: Avoid bending or stooping to load or unload with a raised or mid-height dishwasher or oven. Similarly, for microwaves, this is also a safer way to remove hot food items compared to stretching upwards to remove hot food at eye level where there is always the risk of spillage and burns.
- Low kitchen wall units: These will stop you stretching upwards for glassware or crockery as they are fitted to kitchen walls at a lower, more comfortable height.
- Avoid high cupboards: Whilst high cupboards or the space above wall cabinets can be useful for storage of infrequently used items, it can also become harder and more dangerous to reach as people age. If you foresee high cupboards becoming a problem in the future, then work with your designer to find an alternative use for this space and incorporate more suitable storage options elsewhere.
- Open shelving: This enables easy access for regularly used items such as cookery books, pots, or pans; these may otherwise be heavier or more awkward to lift out of a drawer or cupboard.
- Slip-Resistant Floors: For an Ageing in Place kitchen design – or any age group – you can reduce the likelihood of accidents in the kitchen by choosing flooring with sufficient texture and grout for better grip. Materials such as vinyl or porcelain tiles are ideal for kitchens as they offer more slip-resistance- and are softer and more comfortable under your feet too!
Talk to an Expert about Ageing in Place Kitchen Design
Whether planning a kitchen for yourself, a family member or a friend, personalised kitchen design is absolutely key for now and the future; If you are considering Ageing in Place Kitchen Design or would like some more information, please contact your nearest Kitchen Expert today who will be delighted to assist.