Upgrades to Assist Aging in Place

Millions of people are challenged with simple functions in the kitchen and bath.  Here are a few upgrades to give serious consideration to help function more effectively.    These suggestions will increase the room’s function and be a valued asset by everyone!   Most all of these suggestions can be applied to the kitchen, bathroom, home […]

BeckySue Becker, CMKBD, CAPS, CLIPP™

Published 08/02/2010

Millions of people are challenged with simple functions in the kitchen and bath.  Here are a few upgrades to give serious consideration to help function more effectively.    These suggestions will increase the room’s function and be a valued asset by everyone!   Most all of these suggestions can be applied to the kitchen, bathroom, home office, laundry or craft rooms and outside work rooms.

Lighting: Center fluorescent lights are common to see in older homes.  They are dreadful for tasks!  Task lighting such as halogen, every popular Kichler Xenon (shown below), fluorescent strips and LED are all popular choices for under wall cabinets; they illuminate your work surface right where you need it.   Bonus is added ambiance!

Flooring: Slick floors are one of the biggest dangers for everyone.   Beautiful natural stones, especially polished finishes, present a huge risk for serious falls.   Consider an anti-slip treatment like Sure Step, available at your local hardware store or home center.

Cabinets:

Bending over and reaching into deep base cabinets is not easy for any person.   Design the use of deep drawers as much as possible for one step operation, or for retrofit applications add roll out trays.

Blind corner cabinet?   Half moon swing out shelves (like the REV-A-SHELF unit shown below) or Omega Wood Product’s magic corner will bring everything into sight again.

Door Handles: Replace knobs on your interior doors .. and cabinets… with easy to use pulls or levers.   These are especially helpful for older users with arthritis or Parkinson’s.   There are thousands of choices, and retrofitting is easy by adding a back-plate to cover the knob hole.   A sampling below of Baldwin, Hickory Hardware and Top Knob handles is shown below.

Faucets: Lever-handles are the easiest to operate for all ages, like these two KOHLER Models shown below.

Cook Tops & Ranges: Safety first!  Induction cooking surfaces are safe for the whole family, including children.   With induction cooking, energy is supplied directly to the cooking vessel by the magnetic field; thus, almost all of the source energy gets transferred to that vessel.   This will help reduce the chances of someone burning themselves if they have vision or memory challenges.   With gas or conventional electric cookers (including halogen), the energy is first converted to heat and only then directed to the cooking vessel–with a lot of that heat going to waste heating up your kitchen (and you) instead of heating up your food. (The striking image below shows how precisely focused heat generation is with induction–ice remains un-melted on an induction element that is boiling water!)    If you have a range, Viking makes a very attractive free standing model, as shown below.

It is important to find a Certified Aging in Place Specialist to work with you when making any modifications to your home. CAPS professionals are specially trained in the skills essential to work with older and maturing adults when remodeling and making home modifications in order to age in place.

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About the Designer

BeckySue Becker, CMKBD, CAPS, CLIPP™

Becky Sue Becker is a Certified Master Kitchen & Bath Designer, Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist, and Certified Living-In-Place Professional™. She is an award-winning designer serving the greater Atlanta region.

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