BABY BOOMERS PLAN TO AGE IN PLACE: Your Kitchen – Haven or Hassle?
Isn’t it true that when guests arrive they all seem to gravitate in the kitchen? Kids return home from school, grandchildren come to visit, the neighbors drop in… and everyone ends up wedged between the sink and the fridge. Very few cooks enjoy being confined in a tight space to prepare a meal when company comes!
Some thoughts to Start the Conversation:
- How do you use your kitchen? Do you love to cook? Do you grill? Who does the cooking? What do they cook?
- What other hub of the home activities take place there? (example: homework, crafts, home schooling, bill paying, working from home, etc.)
- How can each of these activities be accommodated with both work areas and storage options?
- Where is the kitchen entered? Is there a mudroom or garage entry that needs a better transitional solution?
- Do you entertain a lot? Do the neighborhood children love to hang out in your house? How many people eat in the kitchen on a regular basis? What does a family gathering look like?
- What are your frustrations? Not enough space to move around? Not enough seating space for holiday entertaining? What about light? Do you have enough space to accomplish tasks? To keep you happy and healthy? Are your views pleasant?
And, if this is to be your ‘Forever Home’, how will your kitchen transition with you?
Some Aging in Place thoughts to consider:
- Are there any personal limitations or physical differences in family members, that need to be addressed?
- Relative to ease of use, what do/don’t you like about currently installed appliances?
- Have you considered multiple counter heights?
- What about alternative controls and their location? Do you find that the controls on appliances are in a location that make them difficult to use? Is it comfortable for you to use the light switches and cupboard pulls?
- Is there ease of access to storage? What about drawers versus cupboards? How do you store things now and what do you like/dislike about that?
- How does the current lighting work for you? Good lighting is essential (overhead, undercabinet, etc.)
- Ease of flow is of utmost importance as we age. Are there any barriers between or within rooms that make it uncomfortable to move around?
Being mindful of what does (as well as what doesn’t) work will put you on the right track for how to create a different space that works with you, not against you. It’s all about function, flow and living easily!
About the Author:
Mindy Mitchell, Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) joined the Sun Design team over ten years ago. CAPS recognizes the technical, business management, and customer service skills essential for home modifications for aging in place. According to Mindy, “Aging in Place reflects the notion of multi-generational living. Many accommodations needed for the aging population are the same for younger people such as wider hallways to fit strollers just as easily as wheelchairs.”
Mindy explains, “Sun Design fulfills my ideal work wish list: charitable, fun, creative and energetic. An ever-evolving, integrity-driven adventure! There’s nothing better than helping clients realize their visions!”
In addition to being an avid international traveler, Mindy enjoys writing, volunteering, and holistic health practices.
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I remember my childhood home. A typical split-foyer found in almost any Northern Virginia neighborhood built between the 50s and 80s. I remember scaling the upper level railing, hanging over the foyer, as I played Barbie and pretending to be falling off the “cliff” during – what I referred to as – my jungle Barbie…
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