Stay Safe in the Kitchen: Elderly Kitchen Modifications

Fruits and veggies, whole grains, low sodium – you’ve heard this all before, right? Eating healthy foods as we age is the key to remaining energetic and managing or preventing chronic diseases such as diabetes. Many studies have shown that eating at home is the best way to ensure that your diet meets recommended guidelines. In addition, preparing food at home gives you control over exactly what goes into your meals – no surprise fats, sugars or additives.

Despite the benefits of cooking at home, many elderly people may find the task challenging because of the physical set-up of their kitchen space. Cabinets too high to reach, dishes too heavy to carry, blurred vision creating danger near hot surfaces. Luckily, implementing some elderly kitchen modifications can provide the solution. From simple switches to total renovations, here are some ideas to keep you or your loved ones healthy and at home longer. Start by assessing specific needs to determine which renovations are right for you.


  • Install a shallow, six-inch-deep sink that can be used while seated
  • Consider a motorized sink that can be raised and lowered for maximum comfort
  • Incorporate anti-scald devices on faucets to prevent burns


  • Removable dish caddies minimize the need to bend over to retrieve dishes
  • Replacing lower cabinets with pull-out drawers can also minimize bending over for those with back pain
  • Pull down shelves in upper cabinets similarly limit straining to reach essential supplies
  • D-shaped pullers are the easiest to use, as they do not require a strong grip
  • Lazy-susan type cabinets keep items from getting stuck out of reach in the back


  • Cabinets with round edges minimize the risk of harm for those with blurry vision or balance issues
  • A contrasting color on the edges of counters helps to distinguish them


  • A stove in a contrasting color helps those with blurry vision differentiate between stovetop and countertop, preventing burns
  • Front-mounted stove knobs that are large and easy to read get rid of the need to reach over hot surfaces
  • Look for stoves that feature color indicators showing that the surface is hot, such as the ones found on most cooktops


  • Look for a refrigerator with large displays, long handles, and lots of side-door storage
  • Freezers located below or next to the main compartment are easier to access than freezers located above the main compartment
  • For a free update, simply cleaning out and organizing the fridge based on how frequently items are used and how soon they will expire minimizes food waste and maximizes ease of utility


  • Proper lighting makes spaces more user-friendly. Install task or track-lighting that illuminates main work spaces.
  • Light switches should be easily reached and located near the entrance of the room

If you or your loved one needs help to remain at home, American In-Home Care refers qualified and compassionate care providers that come to your home and can perform a variety of services, including respite care, medication management, meal preparation and diet monitoring, and Alzheimer's care. Contact us today at 1-844-505-0004 for more information and to schedule your free in-home consultation.