When it comes to caring for senior parents, you may want to help them live independently at home as much as possible. The kitchen can provide a host of challenges that can sometimes make this difficult. A kitchen remodel can offset some of those challenges and make living at home easier. Here are some ideas to consider when remodeling your parents' kitchen to create a functional space they can enjoy for years to come.
Eliminate Upper Cabinets
Upper cabinets can be difficult to access, particularly if your parents find themselves using a wheelchair or if they have a limited range of motion. Removing the cabinets can help open up the kitchen for a bright, airy feel while eliminating an obstacle during meal prep. You can replace the cabinets with open shelving to house decorative items, or you can adorn the walls with beautiful artwork instead.
Install Custom Bottom Cabinet Drawers
For the bottom of the cabinet line, consider replacing traditional cabinets with large pullout drawers. These custom drawers can be used to store everything from pantry items to dinnerware, making them easier to access and keeping the kitchen neatly arranged. Work with your remodeling contractor to ensure the drawer glides operate smoothly to provide easy access. You can stack three deep drawers in the space where a traditional double cabinet once sat. This layout provides essentially the same amount of storage space while eliminating the need for stooping to reach items stored all the way in the back. The custom drawers should pull out for complete access to everything stored inside.
Add Pullout Appliances
When creating the plan for your parents' custom cabinets, allow space for a pullout microwave. This option offers a smart replacement for over-the-range microwaves, which can be difficult to reach. A pullout microwave resembles a cabinet drawer and features simple controls for easy operation. Some models also have integrated locks to prevent accidental operation when not in use. You can also use this same concept to install pullout refrigerator and freezer drawers for better access to fresh and frozen foods. These appliances are ideal for those in wheelchairs who might not otherwise be able to reach the top shelves in a traditional refrigerator/freezer combo.
Install A Lowered Food Prep Counter
A lowered food prep counter can be a great addition to your kitchen, even if your parents don't use wheelchairs for mobility. This addition to your custom cabinet line makes it easy to sit in a chair while chopping vegetables, rolling out dough, or preparing other foods. Identify a space in the kitchen where you can install this type of counter, such as in the space where the traditional refrigerator once sat. The space below should be open to provide legroom, but you can add some custom kitchen cabinetry to complete the workspace. For example, a small cabinet tucked underneath on one side of the counter can provide a discreet home for a trash can. This makes it easy to throw away scraps during meal prep. A thoughtfully positioned cabinet just above the workspace can house cookbooks for quick access, and a drawer positioned under the counter provides a perfect place to store knives and other food prep essentials.
For more information about custom kitchen cabinets and kitchen remodeling, contact a local remodeling contractor.