Thursday, November 12, 2015

My View #148 - Kitchens for the Elderly

Most kitchens don't fit the people who use them. It all depends on a person's height. I could design one for short people like me, 5 feet tall (closer to 4'8" at the age she is writing thanks to osteoporosis.) Three shelves are fine for tall people, but to a five foot or under (and there are thousands of us) they are useless, waste space, or you have to stand on a chair to reach them. Windows over a sink are a darned nuisance, too, you can't reach up to clean them unless you are seven foot tall. When you are old, climbing on chairs is a no-no.

What are we to do? Wire racks of sliding shelves are wonderful, so are lazy susans, but so few are used. I love the sliding shelves, a wonderful improvement, on the "bend-down and pick-out" kind.

Men must have designed kitchens, 5'11" men. Ladies, we have a job to do. We need to make our own patterns for our future kitchens. Sliding, adjustable shelves would be an immense advance for all kitchens. At least we should have a choice, men see only one design.

Letty Evans
March 1, 2009

Just a few years after Mom wrote this, many people, men and women, turned their attention to designing homes where seniors could age in place; in other words, remain in a home that would allow them independence without the legitimate problems Mom described. Click here for examples.

"Residential Design for Aging in Place" kitchen. Oven is in mid-wall (no bending) and the shelf underneath it holds a pie just taken from the oven (less risk of dropping.)