Aging in Place: Kitchen Remodeling Tips for the Long Term

    As homeowners reach retirement age, many are choosing to remain in their current homes for the long term. With your older years approaching, however, your home needs to be able to accommodate your changing needs. One area of the home that often poses a challenge for aging homeowners is the kitchen. 

    A kitchen remodel is a great way to not only update your kitchen but to ensure that it will remain fully accessible to you as your physical capabilities change. If your plan is to stay in your current home for the rest of your life, start planning ahead and create a suitable living condition by asking a kitchen remodeling contractor about the following kitchen renovations geared toward homeowners who wish to age in place:

    Easy Access Cabinetry

    When choosing cabinetry for your kitchen remodel, improve the accessibility of your stored items by installing base cabinets with roll-out trays, which not only improve your storage capacity but make items in the back of the cupboard easier to get to. A swing out shelf or lazy Susan is a must for hard-to-reach corner cabinets.

    Another important factor to consider in your kitchen remodel is the height of upper wall cabinetry; consider placing it three inches lower than the conventional height. Incorporate some open shelving, as well, to give you easy access to frequently used items.

    Finally, replace all cabinet knobs with pulls, which are easier on arthritic hands.

    Appliances: Induction Cooktops and Safe Sinks

    Most kitchen renovations involve new appliances, providing the perfect opportunity to add some helpful safety measures. For example, choosing an induction cooktop (which uses magnetic energy and produces heat only directly below and next to the pot) over gas or electric can not only help you save on energy bills, but it can help prevent painful accidents later on.

    For the sink, opt for a lever-handled faucet instead of knobs, which are harder to operate. A pressure-balanced faucet with thermostatic or anti-scald controls is also recommended for an aging-in-place kitchen remodel.

    Bright Lighting and Non-Slippery Floors

    If you find your vision becoming worse as you get older, lighting will make a world of difference. Task lighting and under-cabinet lighting both create brighter work spaces and will simultaneously make your kitchen look larger due to the added illumination.

    To avoid painful or dangerous falls, ask your kitchen remodeling contractor about an anti-slip treatment for your floor.

    Appropriate lighting, floors, cabinetry, cooktops and sinks are all important aspects of an aging-in-place kitchen remodel. Your kitchen remodeling contractor should be able to answer any additional questions you have and provide you with other helpful pointers during your kitchen renovations.

    Photo provided by: WILLCO