Aging in Place Remodeling Kitchen

5 Aging-in-Place Kitchen Remodel Tips

Aging-in-Place Kitchen Remodel Counter TopSeniors want to age-in-place in their own home for as long as possible.  Follow these simple kitchen remodel tips to make your home accessible and keep you independent as you age.

Whether you want to stay independent in your home or you are a caregiver of a senior, making your kitchen accessible is a must.  And while many believe making a kitchen accessible will reduce the value, the fact is that upgrading your kitchen in any way helps to increase the resale value.  According to Realtor.com, 69% of home sellers reported a kitchen remodel was a selling point over other home improvements.  With 10,000 people retiring every day, an accessible kitchen remodel may be a deal maker.

Kitchen Remodel Tips

Tip #1:  A Pullout Pantry.  A pullout pantry is helpful for any homeowner.  A pull out pantry conveniently houses everything from canned goods, snacks, pots and pans, and small appliances.  A great benefit of a pull out pantry is that it reduces back strain.  For a senior in a wheel chair or with arthritis, a pull out pantry is a must to stay independent.

Tip #2:  Aligned with a pullout pantry, the use of drawers throughout your Kitchen Remodel Drawerskitchen remodel also helps keep you independent.  Drawers allow you to easily see your items and prevent injury.  Unlike traditional cabinets, drawers eliminate the need to reach or climb to access an item.  Also, drawers eliminate the need to bend or get down on your knees to find items in a lower cabinet.

Tip #3:  Keep your microwave low.  A microwave is a must appliance for most seniors.  The days of cooking for many is usually replaced with heating a frozen dinner in the microwave as we age.  Regardless of whether you have mobility challenges, lowering your microwave to your counter top with a kitchen remodel reduces your risk of injury.  A microwave on your counter top reduces your risk of back and shoulder injuries from stretching to handle a hot dish.  It also minimizes the risk of falling and burns from spilled hot fluids.  If you’re short on counter top space, an alternative is a built-in area under your counter top.  This is a great place for wheelchair users.  

Wide Clearance Kitchen Remodel ImageTip #4:  Expand your clearance space.  A must for a kitchen remodel is to add extra clearance space between walls, cabinets, and appliances.  While standard clearance in homes of 36 inches is adequate, extra clearance allows greater mobility and minimizes damage to your home from wheelchairs and walkers.  Some builders recommend extra clearance space of 40 to 48 inches and 60 inches for turnaround areas like closets.

Tip #5:  Keep sinks close to the front edge and shallow, and use barrier-free faucet handles.  A sink is vital to a kitchen.  But many standard designs are difficult to use by seniors.  A recommendation for your kitchen remodel is to make senior-friendly changes to your sink.  Designing a shallow sink closer to the front edge with knee space allows a senior to sit at the sink for meal prep and dish washing.  Also, barrier-free, one handle faucets help prevent injury and promote comfort.

These 5 kitchen remodel tips are easy and simple ways to stay independent as you age.  If your budget is limited, consider upgrading your kitchen with one change at a time.  If you’re serious about a full kitchen remodel, consider a home equity loan to pay for the upgrades.  A home equity loan is cheaper than a new mortgage and your kitchen remodel will add value to your home in many ways!

For more tips on real estate, aging-in-place, and not outliving your money, request a copy of our free book, The Northwest Indiana Guide for Seniors.