Safety is always a concern for older people who want to age in place. Safe home repairs for seniors seem to concentrate on bathrooms, but it is not the only space that needs extra attention. You or your loved one can also benefit from renovations in the kitchen to make it more user-friendly and minimize the danger of injuries. The best part is that you don’t have to redo the entire room; even small changes can improve function and reduce hazards. These suggestions for making your kitchen safer can help you or your loved one maintain your independence without compromising your wellbeing.
Do-It-Yourself Projects for Kitchen Safety
Not every kitchen modification requires the expertise of repair services in Ottawa. Some changes are straightforward and only need a touch of reorganization. Give these ideas a try:
- Give up the glass. Switching to plastic plates and cups may reduce the potential for injury. Wet glasses and plates can slip out of your hands, and then you may get cut when cleaning up the shards. Plastic tends to weigh less and have texture, making it easier to grip.
- Reduce the clutter. Clutter on counters may limit usable workspace, while too much stuff on the floor or in walkways can be a tripping hazard. Look for better storage solutions for the items you use frequently, and pare down the kitchen utensils, cookware, or small appliances that crowd your kitchen.
- Upgrade the extinguisher. Make sure your fire extinguisher is current and within reach. If your loved one cannot operate it, consider changing it out for a senior-friendly version and practice using it in case of a fire. See if your repair person can replace your fire alarm with one that incorporates flashing lights for seniors with hearing loss.
- Switch the appliances. Seniors may prefer the convenience of a microwave oven or toaster oven instead of using the stove or oven. Look for models with simple buttons to operate and place them within reach on a counter for accessibility.
Larger Home Repairs for Seniors
Making aging in place even safer with the help of repair services in Ottawa. These kitchen conversions are worth a conversation with your handyman or contractor:
- Install the lighting. Older people with vision problems may benefit from brighter task lighting to see when they prepare meals or clean up spills. Under-cabinet lighting can help light up countertops, while recessed lighting overhead can brighten the room without harshness. Ask about installing motion-sensor lights or adding more switch plates for quick access.
- Replace the flooring. Some floor materials can become slippery in a kitchen, especially if they are wet or oily. While seniors should opt for footwear with non-skid soles, non-slip or textured flooring may make sense in a kitchen to prevent falls.
- Modify the sink. Talk to your repair person about what alterations can make sinks safer. Replacing the handles from knobs to levers is one idea; a hands-free faucet may also work. Adjustments to temperature and water pressure can work well for seniors who may have difficulty correcting settings on their own.
- Improve the storage. Any storage solutions that help older people reach items can make a difference. Consider changes such as removing cabinet doors in favour of open shelving, using pull-out shelves to get cookware or foods in the back, or lowering cabinets and adding built-in storage in drawers to put everything nearby. The more reaching or bending down to find things, the challenging it is for seniors to utilize kitchen space.
Kitchen Home Repairs for Seniors That Work
Many of these kitchen safety suggestions are common sense and do not require a complete renovation. For more helpful home repairs for seniors, reach out to our professionals at Handyman Connection. Call us to learn more about aging in place, or contact us online for a free estimate for repair services in Ottawa.