Kale On Wheels: Tips To Make Your Kitchen Wheelchair-Friendly

Just because you have to use a wheelchair, it doesn't mean you have to give up hobbies. Many times, you can make accommodations that allow you to continue doing things you enjoy. This includes everything from cooking to participating in sports, so you, or a loved one, should never feel that being in wheelchair means giving up on life. It is important to stay active and enjoy life. If cooking is your thing, but you think the kitchen is no place for someone in a wheelchair, you couldn't be more wrong. 

Get The Kitchen Into Shape

Popular kitchen designs that include a island, large built-in refrigerators, and high cabinets may be fashionable, but they are not practical when you have to maneuver them on wheels. To be wheelchair friendly, your kitchen must be in shape--an L-shape to be exact. 

It isn't practical to wheel around from sink to refrigerator and back to the island. A close L-shape allows you to group important kitchen features together to reduce the amount of wheeling back and forth from appliance to appliance. You can keep the island and pair it with other groupings of necessary kitchen features to reduce the amount of movement necessary. 

 Remember Height And Size Matter

To make sure you have room to turn around and move about safely in the kitchen, make sure there is a turning radius of at least 5 feet in the kitchen work areas. The height of cabinets and counter tops are also important. 

Cabinets need to accessible at a sitting height and angled so that the person in the wheelchair can reach lower cabinets easily and reach higher cabinets using a grabber. Lazy Susans can help make upper cabinets more accessible, and rolling drawers with larger pulls make it easier to reach needed items in lower cabinets. 

Counter tops used for food prep, like chopping vegetables, need to be low with nothing underneath so that that the wheelchair user can sit at the counter, like sitting at table. This makes food preparations easier and safer. Work surfaces should be no higher than 32 inches from the floor. 

To reach the faucet on the sink, the area beneath it needs to be open so the wheelchair can roll underneath it. If possible, customize the open area to the wheelchair user, so the user can rest his or her legs comfortably under the sink while reaching inside the sink. 

For someone new to using a wheelchair, the world may seem out of reach, including the kitchen. And, for loved ones, it may seem that stepping and taking over cooking tasks is for the best, but it's not. Allowing people with physical disabilities to continue doing everyday tasks and participating in hobbies empowers them, allowing them to enjoy life, even if it requires a bit of adjustment or a little remodeling. For more information, talk to places like Neergaard Pharmacies.