Most of the design for aging in place for the kitchen is beneficial no matter what age you are. That’s why homeowners will often look to make kitchen remodels their first priority. Ease of access and a clean, stylish look is a high priority and a good addition for potential resale value. “Our clients don’t want to have to bend down so they request more drawers and pullouts in their cabinetry. They also want their cabinets to be shallower so that they can easily see and reach their kitchenware,” says Walton. Aging in place improvements for the kitchen can provide both functional and aesthetic elements. There’s no reason that a kitchen should become unusable just because someone is getting older.
Aging in place upgrades for the kitchen can be made almost anywhere. Appliances can be set to lower, easier to reach locations for greater ease in cooking. Cabinets and drawers can be equipped with better hinges or springs to allow for easier opening and closing and can be placed at easier to reach locations. Entrances and paths to the kitchen can be made wider to accommodate wheel chairs or any other type of mobility assistance. Counter space can even be built at a more convenient height for preparing meals or performing normal kitchen duties. Whatever kind of improvement a kitchen needs for an aging homeowner there is an available solution.
Walton says that remodeling clients are also interested in whole room renovations— another preparation for the future. “People are creating space for a caretaker. They will have a room remodeled into a suite with a bathroom, a small living space, and kitchenette, so that in later years a caretaker can live there and assist them,” says Walton. He says these additions are becoming more popular especially as extended families are coming together and living under one roof.