“Smart design today will last a lifetime if planned properly”
- Janet Wilson (Owner and Designer)
The term “aging-in-place” may be a relatively new term to some, but one that has taken on a much larger meaning today. The fact is - we are living longer. Many of us are choosing to stay in our homes where we can live with dignity and have control over the quality of our lives. A practical design for long-term use is very important when planning your aging-in-place home. How do we make the right choices to achieve our standard of living at a comfortable and accessible level? The key is to concentrate on making the functional areas of our home transitional.
The kitchen is one of the most important rooms to accommodate our “aging in place” plan. Afterall, it’s where we spend the majority of our time and where friends and family automatically migrate for pre-dinner and post-dinner conversations. Beside the desire to have a kitchen designed for entertaining, it also needs to function practically for everyday use.
Here are some important elements to incorporate into your design so you can stay independent and age-in-place in the comfort of your home.
Pull Out Drawers
Digging for our favorite pots and pans from the back of cabinets is inconvenient for people of all ages, but it can become a major problem as we get older. Having to kneel or use a stool to reach for items becomes increasingly difficult and dangerous as we get older. Using pull out drawers in cabinets and pantries will allow you to access these items a lot easier and keep things organized.
Photo via: Kitchen Innovations Photo via: Pinterest (source unknown)
Plan for your mobility! Depending on the size of your kitchen, islands and workstations could prevent you from being able to move around freely which could be the difference between you having independence or having to hire home assistance to help you perform everyday tasks. Janet Wilson, owner and designer of Kitchen Innovations, says,”building codes state the minimum space around an island should be 36"(3') but I always prefer 42" minimum to allow room for multiple cooks, wheelchairs or walkers.”
Photo via: Kitchen Innovations
Glass Front Cabinets and Open Shelving
Being able to see the contents in the cabinets saves time and energy, plus eliminates the need for using a step ladder to search.
Photo via: Spence Design Photo via: Nicholas Kurtz Designs
Incorporating a walk-in pantry into your design is a great solution when additional storage might be needed. The additional shelving allows for easy organization and accessibility.
Photo via: BHG.com
Counter Top Seating
You can incorporate different levels of countertop heights so you and your guests can be accommodated and comfortable.
Photo via: Gant Custom Homes
As much as we hate to admit it, our eyesight and hearing diminishes as we get older. Today’s appliances will allow you to use voice recognition and pre-sets to activate ovens for temperatures and cooking times, reminders to start preparation and gauges to alert you when food is done. You can even have an electronic grocery list on the front of your refrigerator to check off needed items or even pull up your favorite recipe.
Photo via: geekwire.com
These are some of the many options available today to make living longer a stressless reality for you and your family. At Kitchen Innovations, we are dedicated to helping you design your aging-in-place kitchen to suit the present and the future needs for you and your family. It’s never to early to start planning! Call us today!