There are so many wonderful products these days that make kitchen cabinets senior friendly. Below are just some of the ones that I would recommend.
Pull Down Shelving
Rev-A-Shelf has some great products and they are easily available from Amazon! One of these products is their pull down shelving like the one pictured on the right.
It’s a great product because it allows you to reach items in your cabinet without having to over-reach and lose your balance.
The shelf comes down 10 inches and comes out of the cabinet 14 3/4 inches. It’s a sufficient amount for most people to reach for anything on these shelves easily.
Once the shelves are lowered, it locks into place. To put the shelf back into the cabinet simply pull down gently on the shelves and it will unlock and you can then glide it back up into the cabinet.
It doesn’t necessarily have to go IN a cabinet. This product can also work well in the pantry, in the bathroom, in the laundry room, anywhere that it’s necessary to reach items overhead.
Pull down shelves are an excellent addition to any kitchen for added safety, especially for seniors.
Slide Out Baskets
Another wonderful cabinet accessory are slide out baskets like the one pictured here.
Now, be aware that there are a large variety of sliding baskets, some are single layer, some are double layer, some can fit in a cabinet, others are meant for shelves like in a pantry.
And just like the pull down shelves, the main purpose of slide out baskets is to make reaching for items easier and safer.
Again, these are extremely easy to purchase on Amazon and very easy to install.
I would recommend to use several different varieties throughout the home. And just like the pull down shoes, you can use these in other areas besides the kitchen like the bathroom, the laundry room, the garage and in closets.
Lazy Susan Trays
Many of us grew up in kitchens that had small lazy susan trays in the cabinets and sometimes on the kitchen table. Although the models today are basically the same design, there is a larger variety of them available.
The simple lazy susan I have pictured here should be sufficient for your elderly loved one’s needs but of course, you can choose from the many different trays to suit the space that you will be placing it in.
It’s excellent for spices, jars, cans, baking goods, coffees, teas and much more.
In the bathroom setting it would be good on the counter to place all the daily lotions and potions you would use. It would be very useful in the bathroom cabinets.
A simple turn will bring the items to the front of the cabinet, again, reducing any over reach which in turn helps to increase safety.
Pull Out Shelving
Similar to the pull down shelves – pull outs are simpler and act more like the slide out baskets. The difference is that they are specifically meant to fit inside cabinets.
As I said in my article on Kitchen Safety For Seniors – this model shown on the left is very similar to the ones that we purchased for my mother.
The nice wooden construction and design of these particular pull out shelves fit perfectly with her cabinets and she felt more like she was getting an upgrade in the kitchen, vs. getting a product to aid with her declining health.
But the truth is, these sliding shelves made her time in the kitchen (and the bathroom) so much easier and safer.
Any of these products will make your kitchen safer for anyone. But if you are looking to create a senior friendly kitchen, I would recommend that you consider using as many of these as you possibly can.
Here’s a video of my lovely mom-in-law (she’s 97 in this video, can you believe it?) showing me her favorite kitchen addition, her pull out drawers.
Cabinet And Drawer Pulls
A feature that is fairly inexpensive and easy to provide in a senior friendly kitchen are the cabinet and drawer pulls. These can be purchased online or in hardware stores and can usually be installed by most anyone (no need to hire a handyman).
The easiest model of pulls for most elderly persons to use are D-Pull handles. The reason is that they are wide enough to put the hand through allowing someone with little strength and/or arthritis to pull open the cabinet or drawer.
Other shapes of pulls and knobs can be a little harder for older adults to use and sometimes painful, especially if they suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.