9 clever ways to make your kitchen safer
No matter how prepared we are, there comes a point where we need to accept and work with the limitations and restraints of our bodies. The good news is, we can do this by removing any unnecessary strain required to perform everyday household tasks in our home, as well as eliminating or reducing risk factors like slippage or other hazards.
If you find it difficult to manage regular day-to-day functions in the kitchen, you can use the following strategies to make using the hub of the home both a safer and more practical environment. When the kitchen is easier and safer to use, everyone can benefit from cooking healthy home-cooked meals like this delicious mushroom risotto.
Here are 9 ways you can make the kitchen safer and easier to use.
1. Install easy-hold handles on doors and cabinets
As we age and become more fragile, what may seem like minor falls and bumps can result in injury or even death for some people. A fall that causes someone to seriously injure themselves often results from them failing to hold onto a surface they’ve leveraged their weight against.
A common-sense approach to reduce the risk of this happening in the kitchen is to invest in easy-hold handles that can easily replace existing handles. These easy-hold handles are designed to be non-slip so anyone with wet hands can still maintain a strong grip.
2. Adjust the height of the dishwasher
If you would like to continue using and stacking the dishwasher, then it’s a smart idea to raise the height of it so there’s no need to bend as much. It’s no secret that back problems are a common issue as we age, so this strategy can do you a lot of good.
3. Remove carpets and rugs
While carpets and rugs can look and function beautifully as furnishings in your home, they present a significant hazard to anyone in wheelchairs or who have difficulty walking. We can often slip on loose or soft surfaces, and wheelchairs can get tangled in the frayed textiles.
4. Install brighter light bulbs
Visibility is another area that’s important for safety in a kitchen, particularly as our eyesight naturally deteriorates over our lifetime. The utility of brighter lights is pretty obvious; it will mean having an easier time seeing what we’re doing and are less likely to injure ourselves with a misstep.
5. Invest in appliances that can turn themselves off automatically
Ever feel like you may have forgotten to switch off the stove or some other appliance and you might burn the house down? Even things like kitchen sink faucets can pose a significant risk if left running, as they could wet the floor and create a trip hazard.
This is why it’s a good idea to invest in new kitchen items that are able to automatically switch themselves off after they detect a period of inactivity. These features are also great because they help reduce power and water wastage, reducing utility bills.
6. Adjust the height of countertops
Just like the dishwasher, countertops can be raised or lowered to a more convenient height for anyone that may require the use of a wheelchair or need to be seated whilst performing certain tasks in a kitchen. It can also be useful to modify the edges of the countertops with distinct colours so that anyone with poor vision can distinguish certain areas of the kitchen.
7. Install anti-slip flooring
Marble or tiled flooring is popular in many kitchens for its aesthetic quality, but it actually presents a big slip risk hazard. When these slick surfaces get wet, they become a major accident waiting to happen for anyone with unsure footing.
8. Install extra railings and hand bars
While they aren’t the most aesthetically pleasing home inclusions, assistive bars and handrail systems have saved lives and shouldn’t be overlooked. Basically, you can install extra surfaces that you can grip around the kitchen so that you can more easily and confidently navigate the space.
9. De-clutter the kitchen
Removing unnecessary things from the kitchen can make it safer to use, as there will simply be less opportunities for something to go wrong. The biggest benefit is that you create more physical space to move around in, meaning you are less likely to bump into something.
Built-in appliances, such as a microwave that’s built into a cabinet nook, are great as they free up some surface space on the countertops. All of this means less hazards are present and there’s less risk of something going wrong.