If you're planning a remodel for your kitchen to accommodate ADA or general accessibility issues, choosing appliances and determining where they get placed are key decisions. Remember, it's about removing barriers and increasing convenience so that your space is not a source of frustration. Accessible appliances have certain characteristics in common, but typically their designs could fit right into any home.
Here’s what to look for when you go shopping and for when you’re planning the layout of your kitchen:
Cooktop — For easier use, it is best to have your cooktop separate from your oven. This separation allows for space to accommodate legroom beneath. Also, a cooktop with front controls prevents having to reach over hot burners. Staggered burners also minimize the risk of injuries.
Oven — When it comes to selecting an over, wall ovens are ideal because their placement height can be customized to meet your needs. If you're in a wheelchair, a side-hinged model can be helpful.
Refrigerator — When choosing a refrigerator, choose a model with a bottom, pull-out drawer freezer as this provides the most accessibility, but side-by-side models are also popular. You'll want to check that controls are low enough to be reached from a seated position and that they are simple to use.
Microwave — When considering where to place your microwave, over the stove is not ideal. Instead, plan a space that is at or just under the counter height.
Dishwasher — While most appliances are lowered for accessibility, you'll want your dishwasher raised from standard installation height. This adjustment makes access more comfortable for seated persons. For placement, make sure you have ample space on either side. Racks must move smoothly with little pressure.
Certified ADA-compliant appliances must meet more specific criteria than these generalized descriptions, but this is intended to give you an idea of what to look for and ask for when shopping. If you need assistance with planning your kitchen remodel, please give the Fort Rock Construction team a call. We're experts in accessibility design and would love to help create a space you can enjoy. 541-767-1611
As you age, it's not uncommon to contemplate where you want to live as you get older. Depending on your health needs, there are several options available, from luxury retirement to independent or assisted living communities. But what if you want to stay in your own home? With the proper accommodations, staying in your own home, or aging in place, can be achieved.
What does aging in place require?
Most homes are constructed to meet minimum requirements for things like entry access (typically stairs), door width, hallway width, counter height, the height of knobs, door locks, etc. A standard is set that accommodates the typical able-bodied adult. But, as you age, your body may start to experience limitations. Maybe you can't climb those stairs as easily, maybe reaching the top shelf in the kitchen is difficult, or perhaps you no longer have the finger strength to open up kitchen or bathroom cabinets. The list goes on depending on your individual needs.
Aging in place takes a person's physical limitations into account for how a space is designed. When aging in place standards are used, you'll see adaptations like a ramp to the front door instead of steps, pull handles on cabinets instead of finger grooves, shower and bathtub modifications to provide greater safety, etc.
If you suspect you'll want to stay in your own home as you age, it's best to start that planning early. Working with an aging in place specialist can help you look at each room in your home with fresh eyes. He or she will be able to address your specific concerns and also make suggestions for needs you might not know to anticipate.
At Fort Rock Construction, we are certified aging in place experts. We've been helping homeowners in the Eugene, Springfield and Cottage Grove area remodel their homes since 2001. Please give us a call to schedule a consultation for your home. 541-767-1611
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