Three Tips For Designing A Wheelchair-Accessible Kitchen

Construction & Contractors Blog

If someone who lives in your home utilizes a wheelchair, it is important to design a kitchen that is easily accessible. This way, your loved one can maintain some independence when it comes to preparing food. While you will need to work with a contractor to come up with a design that's right for you particular needs as well as your unique kitchen setup, there are a few basic tips that can help you design a more accessible kitchen. 

Utilize Drop-Down Cabinets

While putting the most-used items in the lower cabinets is a good temporary solution, there are bound to be times when your loved one needs to access things in the upper cabinets. Drop-down cabinets solve this problem. These cabinets mount on the wall just like ordinary cabinets, but when someone pushes a button (or even manually pulls downward) on the shelves, they slide down on hinges or tracks, bringing the cabinet contents to wheelchair level. Those capable of standing can simply open the cabinets and remove content while they're at eye level. Thus, nobody is inconvenienced by the height of the cabinets. Contact a company like Red River Granite for more information about this.

Include Sinks With Knee Space Below

When installing wheelchair-height sinks, one issue that is often overlooked is the fact that in order to utilize the sink, the wheelchair-bound individual needs to be able to reach it with the wheelchair in front of it. Traditional sinks mounted in enclosed cabinet structures make this difficult. Sinks with knee space below them allow for easy access. The wheelchair-bound individual can sit with his or her knees under the sink as if it were a table, and wash dishes or hands with ease.

Choose The Right Appliances -- And Put Them In Convenient Places

When choosing appliances for an accessible kitchen, make sure they have handles and functions in an area that's easy for your loved one to reach. For instance, stoves should have control knobs on the front rather than the back, so your loved one does not have to reach over hot burners to reach them. Refrigerators should have long, floor-to-top handles, not a single handle your loved one has to reach for.

When placing appliances, make sure their locations allow your loved one easy access. For instance, do not place the refrigerator in a corner where, if your loved one wheels in front of it, there is no longer room for the door to swing open.

With the tips above in mind, you'll be off to a good start in terms of designing a more accessible kitchen.

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