All You Need To Know About Organising A Kitchen For The Elderly

by Ashish Rai | February 22, 2020 | 5 mins read

Custom Kitchen Cabinets for elderly homeowners

Customise your kitchen design for senior citizens to make life simple and safe.

Perhaps you live with your parents or foresee yourself moving in with them one day. Your kitchen, the hub of maximum activity in the day, needs to be a space where everyone can navigate their way safely. Remember not all kitchens are elder-friendly! 

And while homeowners spend a lot of time researching the layout of kitchens, materials, finishes, and colours, they often tend to forget about small intricate details to make cooking an effortless experience for the elderly. Senior citizens for one, will not be able to bend and reach out to things stored far out of normal reach. 

How A custom kitchen design for elderly parents and homeowners, can make life simpler and hassle free. We have compiled a list of kitchen design ideas and tips to make working in this zone safer and easier for older homeowners.

Tall Units Are Perfect Fits In Kitchen Designs For Senior Citizens

A tall unit lets you store everyday commodities, canned foods and other items at easy reach. This is perfect for elderly homeowners as they can have a full glance of everything they need without scrambling for it. A unit can be designed with multiple drawers and shelves where you can store heavy portable appliances such as toasters, blenders, and mixers. Pocket door mechanism makes opening and closing easy as well and you can design it with adjustable shelves or a pull-out breakfast counter. You can make it even more accessible for your elderly parents by designing mechanically-operated modular units like a pegasus unit, bi-fold lift-top or split shutter unit.

Kitchen design for elderly people with a tall unit full of glance
A tall unit gives you ample room to store bulky items
Cool kitchen design hacks on a budget

Good Lighting Is A Must In Kitchen Designs For The Elderly

The staircase and living room isn’t the only place where you need good lighting in your home. A dark kitchen is an invitation to home accidents, so adequate lighting is a must in your kitchen if you live with senior folk! Natural light is the best. So when you remodel your kitchen, make sure it’s designed with enough sunlight coming in. Install bright LED lights on the ceiling so the space is well lit. Also adding lights under wall cabinets will make working comfortable. Most importantly make sure light switches are installed at the entryway.

Custom Kitchen design for seniors where a dark kitchen is an invitation to home accidents
A well lit-kitchen makes work easier for seniors

A Kitchen Design For Senior Citizens Must Have Slip-Resistant Floors

A kitchen in a home with elderly parents needs a slip-resistant floor. There is no compromise on this as spills can lead to falls. Avoid covering your kitchen floor with carpets and rugs. Anti-skid flooring for senior citizens is a must as it offers a sturdy grip. Besides, non-slip tiles are easy to maintain. Another great option is cork-flooring. It is a great alternative to hardwood flooring, is fire and insect resistant and is easy on the feet. Other options include wood, vinyl or linoleum flooring. If you have a parent or grandparent who uses a wheelchair, hardwood flooring is a great choice as it is easy to roll.

Elderly friendly kitchen for your home where you can avoid covering your kitchen floor with carpets and rugs.
Good flooring in the kitchen prevents accidents

Don’t Sink The Sink In A Kitchen Design For The Elderly

Sinks play a vital role in the modular kitchen and must not be neglected. Avoid installing a sink that’s too deep as it will have a massive impact on the back of your aged parent. Make sure all cleaning materials and equipment are nearby – sprays, scrubs, sponges – so there is less movement. Keep faucets within easy reach to make washing dishes and rinsing vegetables a breeze. If your kitchen has the option of running hot water, ensure it’s set to lukewarm and not blistering hot. And for those homeowners who do not want to replace the sink entirely, you can raise the height. The market today has motorised, adjustable, counters/sinks available that make cooking and working hassle-free.

Kitchen gadgets for elderly where you make sure all cleaning materials and equipment are nearby
Install sinks that are not too deep
Modular kitchen solutions for indian homes with 20% extra storage

No Room For Sharp Edges In A Kitchen Design For Senior Citizens

Sharp edges are dangerous if you have elderly folk living at home. Avoid 90-degree angles on open shelves and countertops as there are high chances of elder folk hitting their elbow or hip on a sharp corner while walking. Round edges are softer and lessen the likelihood of bumps and bruises. 

Kitchen appliances for elderly with open shelves and countertops
Rounded corners are less prone to mishaps

Install Countertops That Allow Easy Movement For Elderly Parents

Remodelling an old kitchen to suit the needs of senior citizens also means you need to be mindful of accessibility. How about multiple countertops? In homes with joint families, having a kitchen with large countertops makes working easy,  as there is no chance of bumping into each other. Choose a surface with ease of use and maintenance in mind. Lowering the height from a standard 36 inches to 30 inches will make it easier for elderly homeowners in a wheelchair.

Best kitchen design for seniors with granite and quartz countertops for easy maintain
Granite and quartz countertops are easier to maintain

As you can see, the best way to respect elderly members in your home is to customise your kitchen according to their likes, dislikes and specific needs. Design Cafe has an array of ideas and designs to help you achieve the perfect kitchen design for senior citizens.

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Ashish Rai is a content writer at Design Cafe home interiors blog.

Ashish Rai

Ashish Rai is a content writer at Design Cafe and believes that words have the power to change the world! He comes with five years of experience and has experimented with various roles including sales, a tourist guide, and ran a tattoo parlour too!

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