Creating a safe and functional disability friendly kitchen for a family member or friend is a lot easier than you would think. It does not have to involve a major home renovation and can be achieved with some simple changes and a few modifications.
When in the planning stage it is important to think about how you are going to make sure the kitchen fits its user. Is your son a budding Jamie Oliver? Does your Mum just want a well laid out environment so that she can cook dinner without help? Get your loved one involved in the planning and if possible discuss their requirements.
Once you have a plan in mind look for small cost effective changes you can make. Lots of minor adjustments can be made in a couple of hours. Some quick and easy DIY solutions are:
- Remove rugs or loose carpets, as they are a potential hazard
- Make sure that floor tiles, lino or carpets are securely fastened and that there are no loose or rough edges
- Rearrange the cupboards so that the most frequently used items are in the bottom cupboards
- Group items together so that only one cupboard has to be accessed to bake a cake for example. Put baking tins, spoons, flour and other baking items in one cupboard
- Choose a convenient spot to store favorite recipe books so that they are easily accessible
Most kitchens will need some modifications made. You will need to consider installing grab rails and / or handrails. A ramp may need to be installed to access the kitchen. Other items that make a kitchen safe and functional are:
- Dishwasher draws as oppose to a traditional style dishwasher
- Pull down baskets to access items from top level cupboards
- Corner carousals to make use of low level space
- Bespoke shelves to store recipe books
- Lowered ovens with a side hung door to allow safe access
The whole family often uses the kitchen so install a height adjustable workbench frame to make a kitchen fully functional for everyone. The adjustable mechanism means the height can be changed to suit anyone. Manual or electrical lift options are available.
All levels of adjustments you make to your loved one’s disability friendly kitchen will be greatly appreciated. Just remember to make a plan first and get them involved in the process.