Rearranging the kitchen for mobility
If your mobility has altered you may find that routine tasks in the kitchen become more time consuming or frustrating than they were before.
There are lots of ways you can make your kitchen more user-friendly if your mobility has changed whether it’s installing a new kitchen, purchasing new items or simply rearranging what you already have, you’ll find that there are lots of ways you can make a kitchen more functional.
There are lots of professional organisations who can give you one-to-one advice on making your kitchen an accessible and enjoyable place to be again.
It’s important that you speak to an occupational therapist and get tailored advice on how you can make your kitchen a safe and user-friendly space.
Talk to one of the Disability Resource Centres operating around the UK to see what changes could be made to your kitchen.
Kitchen fitters and designers will often be able to help you plan your perfect kitchen, whether it’s designing a new layout or making changings to worktops.
Update Your Kitchen
Whether you get a whole kitchen overhaul or a partial refit, you’ll find that modifications to your kitchen could make life easier.
If you are the main user of the kitchen and need it to be more accessible, you could consider updating the layout so it suits you better. If you use a wheelchair, you could get a new kitchen fitted that ensures work surfaces, cooking areas and cupboards are all accessible. This could be things like making sure units and facilities are within easy reach, that there are wider doors on cupboards, and that there’s an open space for a wheelchair under worktops. Make sure you think about how you like to use the space as well – whether you want to be able to look out of the window, watch a television, or access other rooms easily.
If other members of your family use the kitchen as well as you, you’ll find that your kitchen can be easily arranged to suit everyone. Consider having ‘Rise and Fall’ worktops installed, which will let you and your family members adjust the height of units to meet their personal requirements. You could even adjust a section of the kitchen for your own use, and only install Rise and Fall worktops in certain sections of the kitchen.
Make Simple Changes
You could also integrate simple solutions to help rearrange your kitchen for mobility.
Purchasing a stool to fit beside your kitchen units, which would allow you to sit while you prepare and cook food, could make life far more comfortable.
Think about how you cook – do you need to use a cooker? It could be that switching to a microwave, especially if you often reheat food, will make a big difference in the kitchen.
There are other simple adjustments that can be made to help in the kitchen, such as:
- -Rearranging the cupboards so that everything you normally use is at the front, within easy reach
- -Installing lazy Susan’s in your kitchen cupboards so you can turn shelves to find what you need, rather than having to rummage at the back
- -Getting pull-out baskets in your cupboards for fiddly items like spices
- -Purchasing a dishwasher
- -Installing handrails on the worktops for extra support, or to rest walking sticks
- -Buying rubber grip tools and utensils for the kitchen
- -Replacing the kitchen cabinet doors or handles to make them easier to open
What else could people to do rearrange a kitchen when mobility has changed?
Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor
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