If you're designing your new home, and your loved one is confined to a wheelchair, spend some extra time on the kitchen plans. Many people who are mobility impaired find it difficult to navigate around the kitchen. In fact, kitchen cabinets are often downright inaccessible to individuals who are confined to wheelchairs. Luckily, it doesn't need to be that way. There are design options that can make kitchen cabinets more accessible to those who rely on their wheelchair. Now that you're designing an accessible kitchen for your loved one, here are four steps you can take when designing the cabinets.
Consider Cabinet Placement
If your loved one is confined to a wheelchair, you know that kitchen cabinets are often out of their reach. If you want to make sure that your loved one can access the cabinets, you have two options. The first one is to install the cabinets lower on the wall. That way, those lower shelves are easy to reach. Or, you can install motorized cabinets. Motorized kitchen cabinets are installed on tracks that allow the cabinets to raise and lower as needed. Both options allow for easy access to the cabinets.
Choose the Right Cabinet Pulls
If you're planning to install accessible cabinets for your loved one, you'll also want to choose the right cabinet pulls. This is especially important if your loved one has mobility issues that involve their hands. Standard cabinet pulls, such as knobs, can be difficult to grasp. That's where looped pulls come into the picture. Loops allow for easy access to the pulls. Not only that, but they can be adjusted to hang low from the cabinets, which allows them to be grasped from a lower angle. Magnet pulls also work well. Magnet pulls are released with a gentle tap.
Include Ease-of-Access Upgrades
If you want to design accessible cabinets for your loved one, don't forget about the accessories. Easy-access upgrades take accessibility to the next level. Some accessories to consider include, lazy susan's, and pull-out shelves. These accessories allow for easier access to the hard-to-reach areas of the kitchen cabinets.
Utilize Under-the-Cabinet Storage Space
Finally, if you're in the process of designing an accessible kitchen, make good use of the under-cabinet storage space. Under-cabinet storage racks can be installed to hold items such as spice racks, and small hand-held kitchen appliances. That way, these items are easily accessible to your loved one.
When designing your kitchen, make sure to talk to someone specialized in custom kitchen cabinets. They should understand what elements to include for an accessible kitchen.