Family-Style Kitchen Updates for Long-Term Elderly Care

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You’ve looked everywhere; called every nursing home in your area, and reviewed your budget multiple times to see how you can manage a monthly payment to an advanced care facility.

seniors having fun in the kitchen

There are many risks associated with placing a loved one in a nursing home. The most common reason for people to choose an alternate route is the fear of abuse and neglect. Nursing homes are often overcrowded and understaffed, which can lead to dangerous situations for residents. If your family member has been a victim of nursing home negligence, reach out to an experienced firm like  Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers to discuss your legal options.

No matter what research you do, or the experts you speak with, nothing measures up to the personal and attentive aspects of homecare.

The process of renovating your home for elderly care can be overwhelming. You’re unsure of where to start or what updates to make. The best thing to do is start in the most-used areas, like the kitchen.

Start With the Basics

You’ll want to make your cabinets and drawers accessible for someone who may have trouble reaching or bending. Replace your silverware with utensils that have larger handles and place them at the front of the drawer. Install pulls on your cabinets, instead of knobs, so they’re easier to grip.

You may want to consider lowering your cabinets so someone who is wheelchair-bound can reach them. You can add a lazy-susan and stock it with basic cooking essentials. You want to make maneuvering around your kitchen as easy as possible.

Continue with Small Adjustments

Invest in kitchen seating that is easy to get in and out of. Arm and leg rests that have odd or difficult shapes can be uncomfortable for an older person to sit in. Move small kitchen appliances to the front of the counter so they’re easier to reach.

If your family member primarily uses a wheelchair for mobility, make sure the entrances and exits in your kitchen have flat, seamless flooring void of any obstacles or warps that chair wheels might get stuck on.

Take this precaution with walkers as well. Having anything in the walker’s path may cause your loved one to fall and injure themselves or others.

You can also invest in non-slip flooring to lessen the possibility of injury.

Consider Your Large Appliances

If you have a dishwasher, make sure it is at a height that is easy to load and unload. Place the dishwasher next to the sink so dishes can be rinsed off before being placed on the rack.

If you have a range, make sure the knobs and controls are at a height that is easy to see and reach. Install an oven hood to catch any food spills or splashes.

Install an automatic shutoff for your stove and oven. This will prevent the possibility of an unattended appliance causing a fire or any other damage to your home.

If you have a microwave, make sure it is placed at a height that is easy to see and use.

Add Electrical Outlets

If your loved one has trouble reaching far distances, you may want to consider adding a reachable electrical outlet to your kitchen island or peninsula. This will give them the ability to use appliances without having to stretch too far.

If your family member has trouble seeing, add outlets that are brightly colored so they can quickly locate them.

Add More Lighting and Task Lights

You want to make sure your kitchen is well-lit. You don’t want your family member wandering around in areas where they can harm themselves. You can add more lights beneath appliances, underneath cabinets, and in drawers.

Update Your Kitchen Sink and Faucets

You’ll want your faucet to be hands-free, so they don’t have to touch anything dirty with their clean hands when cooking. You can also install a pull-down faucet to give them more reach.

If your loved one has trouble using their hands, install a single-lever faucet so they can use the back of their wrist to turn it on and off.

Motion-sensor faucets are also an option for a completely hands-free experience.

Preventative Updates

If you need to keep your loved one out of these areas and appliances, there are measures you can take to make them inaccessible.

You can install entry-proof knobs on your stove. There are also range locks that prevent the use of your oven or any other electrical appliance in the kitchen.

You can also install entry-proof locks on cabinets, to keep them from opening and accessing harmful items.

You don’t have to do everything at once, but making small adjustments over time can make a substantial difference. These are a few things to take into consideration when making plans to move an elderly family member into your home.

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