Easy Living Homes Delivers 3 Beneficial Features: The Kitchen

  1. Convenient Access: Convenient, step-free entries into your home and throughout your home helps avoid trips and falls. These easy entry and threshold-free doorways make it easier for family and/or friends who rely on assistance for mobility.
  2. Convenient Passage: With wider hallways and doorways, there is plenty of room to pass through without bumping into walls or door frames. This means complete independence for those who struggle with small or narrow spaces.
  3. Convenient Usage: All necessary living space is located on the main floor. This means fewer trips up and down the stairs since all the rooms you spend most of your time in are on one level. This self-contained floor makes it possible for people who develop a serious medical condition to remain in their home and retain their independence.

There are numerous things to consider when building or remodeling your home to this design. Chances are, your home will not need all of the suggestions listed, but it is wise to think of the future for yourself or a family member who may make regular visits into your home.

NEW HOME CONSTRUCTION

There is a huge advantage to include “Universal Design” into the construction phase of your new home.

  • Average price to upgrade your home to this design is only 5% more.
  • Contractors do not have any building codes to follow when applying this design. This is an advantage for the home owner as it gives them more freedom to design the home to suit the family’s needs.
  • Preparing your home to add this design in the future is possible during the construction phase. A few examples of this are blocking for future grab bars, structural framing of wider doorways, pre-positioned electrical, plumbing and HVAC rough-ins.

EXISTING HOME MODIFICATIONS

There are all kinds of things to consider when remodeling your home to this type of design. Even though there are many suggestions that can be made, chances are, you may need only a few of them to make it more accessible for you. A good suggestion would be to take it one project at a time to avoid extra stress. Some jobs are quick, easy and inexpensive. On the other hand, there are much larger projects that are more in-depth and expensive.

Next, you will find a lengthy list of possible solutions to modify your KITCHEN to make it an “Easy Living Home”

THE KITCHEN:

  • The kitchen is near a door where groceries are unloaded
  • The kitchen floor has a non-slip surface
  • There is a fire extinguisher in an easy to reach place
  • I know how to operate the fire extinguisher
  • There is plenty of lighting, especially task lighting where needed

The microwave oven:

  • The microwave is at least 48” off the floor
  • There is a shelf nearby the microwave to place hot items
  • The microwave has touchpad controls

The kitchen sink:

  • The sink is less than 6 ½” deep
  • The sink is no more than 34” off the floor
  • The sink has faucet with 1 lever handle
  • The faucet and handle is mounted on the side of the sink
  • There is knee space under the sink
  • There is a spray hose at the sink
  • The faucet has an anti-scald device

The dishwasher:

  • The dishwasher is at least 8” off the floor
  • There is enough space next to the dishwasher to fit a chair
  • The dishwasher has button controls
  • The dishwasher shelves slide in and out easily

The countertops:

  • At least 1 of the countertops is 36” off the floor
  • The 36” countertop has knee space underneath
  • The countertops are uncluttered
  • The countertops are well lit
  • The countertops have rounded edges
  • There is a contrasting color edge on the countertop
  • The countertops are smooth to slide things across
  • The countertops have a heat resistant surface
  • There are countertops on a least 1 side of the sink, refrigerator and stove

The refrigerator:

  • The refrigerator is a side by side
  • The shelves slide in and out
  • The refrigerator has a water and ice dispenser on the door

The cabinetry:

  • The upper cabinets are 48” off the floor
  • The lower cabinets are 6” above the floor
  • All heavy pots and pans are stored in the lower cabinets
  • The pots and pans can hang on the wall
  • There is a shelf below the upper cabinets
  • The shelves in the lower cabinets slide in and out
  • The handles on the cabinets are U or C shaped
  • There is a lazy susan on a deep shelf or in a corner cabinet
  • Open shelving for easy access to frequently used items

The cook-top and oven:

  • There is a 1 piece lip in range/oven
  • The range has been replaced with a separate cook-top and oven
  • The cook-top is on a counter that is 32” off the floor
  • There is knee space below the cook-top
  • The oven is mounted on the wall at a reachable height when seated
  • The oven door swings to the side
  • The controls are at the front
  • The cook-top has a smooth, glass top
  • The burners are staggered, not in a straight line
  • There is LED lights when the burners are on or still hot
  • The oven has push-button controls
  • The cook-top has a downdraft feature to pull heat away from user
  • The oven is self-cleaning as opposed to continuous cleaning

These are all simple, basic ideas that could make a struggle into an easier task. Any detail that can make performing a bathroom task safer and simpler is worth changing.  Each person is individual, there are no rights or wrongs.

If you are interested in learning how to make your kitchen safer for the occupant/s, give us a call to set up a time for us to come out and assess it. 920-865-7700

 

Article written by Lisa M Arthur Huben
Custom Kreations, Inc.

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