If you are taking care of a loved one with special needs, you will want them to be as safe as possible in your home, especially in the kitchen. Whether it is an aging parent, a child with special needs, or anyone with mobility issues; the kitchen holds many items that are essential to their daily survival, and they will need access to them quite frequently. When your loved one has poor access to the kitchen, there is a high risk of them being involved in serious accidents such as fires or falls.
Here at Columbia Kitchens of Maryland, we are here to help you make food preparation, storage and cleanup much more functional for those with special needs, simply by using kitchen modifications made for universal accessibility.
Kitchen Cabinet Modifications
One important modification you will want for your kitchen is built-in accessories to help your love ones access items more comfortably. When you have carousels inside your kitchen cabinets, it will make reaching items in your cabinets easier, especially if your loved one uses a wheelchair. They would not be able to reach items further in the back of your kitchen cabinets if it weren’t for this feature.
This is also true of the sink, which will be difficult to reach if not planned for. You will want to incorporate a handicap sink front to allow for their wheelchair to roll underneath the sink as they wash dishes. There are also cabinets made to house the microwave beneath the countertop, so that it is more easily reached.
Cabinet hardware is also a place to think about those with dexterity issues. Simply choosing larger knobs or wider pulls for the cabinets will make opening the doors and drawers easier and less painful. Also having self-closing mechanisms on the cabinets will help close the doors and drawers with very little effort.
Another great feature you should install in your kitchen cabinets are accessories that slide out. Roll-out trays, deep drawer storage, door shelving, and pullouts are all options to plan for when easy access is required. These features are extremely useful and prevent hard and heavy objects from falling and possibly injuring your loved one. This eliminates the need to bend and reach in the lower cabinets to retrieve the items you need. You should also avoid storing objects very high up or far back in the cabinets to prevent a potentially harmful situation from occurring.
Kitchen Countertop Modifications
Once you have made your kitchen cabinets more accessible, you will need to remodel your countertops.
One useful kitchen countertop modification could be to include a cooking surface that is flush with the countertop and features the controls near the front. This feature will help elderly relatives, who are in a wheel chair or have difficulty walking, continue to independently prepare meals.
You can also install a lower kitchen countertop behind or next to the island or peninsula area. This would be a perfect work surface to sit and prepare meals and a great area for them to dine without having to carry heavy dishes so far. You could also include a TV in one of the wall cabinets so that they are entertained as they are cooking and/or eating.
When planning a kitchen it is important to fit the needs of the homeowner, today and going forward into the future. There may be an individual with special needs living in the home at the time, a parent that may eventually come to live in the home, or perhaps the homeowner is preparing for a time when they themselves may have mobility issues. In any case, Columbia Kitchens would be happy to create a kitchen which promotes independence while providing the needed accommodations for your situation.
Here are our Kitchen and Bath Remodeling Services.
At Columbia Kitchens we offer stock builder grade cabinets for immediate purchase or you can choose from our semi-custom and custom lines which are all displayed in our beautiful showroom. When you arrive, we will also show you our vast array of custom countertop options which include: Laminate, Corian, granite, marble, Vetrazzo (recycled glass), Silestone, Cambria, Zodiaq, Caesarstone, Eco, Hanstone, Swanstone, and cultured marble. Columbia Kitchens offers all this plus FREE estimates, FREE design services, and FREE in-home measuring all done by our friendly, creative staff of professionals. Let us create the design of your dreams today!
Contact us by calling 410.796.9090 or click here today!
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