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Aging in Place Kitchen Design

They say "Home is where the heart is”, if that is true, then why leave? Most people feel most comfortable at home where they have their personal belongings, their individual décor that expresses who they are, and most important, their family.

As we age, it’s safe to say that we aren’t as limber as we used to be, our eyesight is less than 20/20 and perhaps not as strong and limber as our youth.

There are still some smart products designed for you to live easier, so you can stay home comfortably for a longer period of time.

Let's look at a few.

Modified Cabinetry


You should not have to reach for items anymore. Utilize “lazy susans” or turnstiles, also pantries and pull out cabinets at floor level.

A company called Rev- A -Shelf manufacturers a pull down cabinet. It is capable of pulling down 10” and pulling out from the cabinet a total of 14 ¾”. You can access upper and lower cabinets easier.

Microwaves


You can also consider sacrificing some counter space for lowered upper cabinets.

There is an array of fold down and drawer type microwaves. They are much easier than regular microwaves to reach your food.

I also like the idea of a microwave below the counter, because you never want to reach for hot food.

The picture above also shows a warming drawer. It serves the dual purpose of keeping foods warm and can also be used to refresh leftovers.

Faucet


A touch-to-use faucet such as the Brizo 64255LF-SS extends out closer to the edge of the counter. Touch control faucets are a great idea.

Easy Access to Cooking


If you or someone else in the house uses a wheelchair, consider a roll under cooktop. This would allow a wheelchair to roll under a cooktop to allow the user easy access at shoulder level to the cooking surface.

No leaning or bending, you have the ability to see and tend to what it is you are cooking.

Side Opening Wall Ovens


Also consider an oven with a sideswing door such as the Bosch Benchmark HBLP451RUC. This allows you to get up close to the oven without having to get up or lean over a door.

You don’t have to lift a turkey or roast over the door. The oven can also be mounted under the counter for really easy access.

Rangetops



Rangetops have controls in the front versus the top with bigger, beefier and easy to use knobs. It is easier than reaching on the top like most cooktops.

Refrigeration


For your main refrigerator, your best bet would be a side by side fridge. Both the freezer and refrigerator compartments would be within reach without having to strain.


Another option would be under counter refrigerator/freezer drawers. Many manufacturers now produce refrigeration drawers. They are 6 cu. ft. and simple to grab food or drinks. If you are an empty nester, you may only need 1 or 2 instead of a refrigerator.

Elevate It

Why not elevate appliances to where you want them. You can in theory place most appliances almost anywhere...so why not?

You can place laundry in cabinets like this:


Customize your appliances to comfortable heights for you.

Like these wall ovens pictured:


Final Thoughts

If we are lucky, we will all be old one day. There is no need to struggle with products designed for people in their 20’s or 30’s.

Just remember there are products naturally designed to be easier to use for people at any age.

Additional Resources

Download The Yale Appliance Buying Guide with features, specs and common sense approaches to buying the right appliances for you. Well over 100,000 people have read a Yale Guide.

View our appliance buying guide

About The Author

Todd Rourke

Todd Rourke is an Appliance Sales Consultant at Yale Appliance + Lighting. In his spare time, Todd professionally plays music and competes in fishing competitions.

Read more about Todd here.

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