remodeling to acommodate an elderly loved oneremodeling to acommodate an elderly loved one

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remodeling to acommodate an elderly loved one

When I invited my mother to come and live with my family, we had to make some changes to accommodate her. The changes that needed to be made were all within reason and were all required so that she could get around with her walker and eventually a wheelchair if need be. I hired a remodeling contractor to assist us with making the changes. I learned a lot while discussing what needed to be done and what it would take to get it complete. I created this blog with the hopes of helping other families that are considering making the same changes in their homes.

Kitchen Remodeling for Aging in Place

When you are at the point in your life where you are starting to slow down and need to think about where you want to spend the rest of your life, you may envision your home as that place. The term used when referring to those who wish to remain in their own homes is, "age in place". If aging in place is what you want for yourself, then you do want to make sure your home is going to be a safe place for you to spend the remainder of your life.  Two of the rooms in your home that are known for being the most dangerous homes for the elderly, as well as those with mobility issues, are the bathrooms and the kitchen. Also, there are many things in the kitchen that can get more difficult, as you age. Here are some tips on how you can have your kitchen remodeled when you plan on aging in place: 

Create more space

When you are having kitchen remodeling done in order to better cater to your needs as you age, you want to start by creating a large kitchen with plenty of space to move around in. You don't want a galley kitchen, because it can be easy to trip when trying to spin around in the thin area. Also, it will be hard to navigate with a walker, and especially a wheelchair, if you or your spouse ever need one in the future. When you have a wide-open kitchen, it will be safer and easier to cook in. 

Have custom cabinets installed

You want to have cabinets installed that meet your current and future needs when remodeling your kitchen. When aging in place, you will want to know you will be able to reach everything in your cabinets without needing to stretch to reach far above your head or use a step stool. Have cabinet installed lower, and go with ones that give you the cabinet space you need in a way that will work best for you. You can also get more storage space by having things like a lazy Susan installed in the corner areas or by having pull-outs that allow you to easily reach the items way in the back. 

Have custom counters and countertops installed

You may not think much can be done with the countertops to help you as you age in place. However, during the kitchen remodel, you can have countertops installed that are going to be easy to clean. You can have grab bars installed along the edges of the counters. This way, you have something to grab on to if you start to feel unsteady. Also, you should consider having color-coded edges along the countertops, so you can easily and clearly see where the countertops are. This can really help prevent accidents in the kitchen. You should also consider rounded edges in the kitchen, so there won't be sharp edges and corners you could get hurt on.