Aging-In-Place: Appliances Features
So far, you’ve remodeled your bath to have easy access to the shower with a barrier-free entrance and adjustable faucets, convenient counter space and easy to reach elegant towel/graspable bars. And you’ve renovated your kitchen to have lots of lighting – bright LED’s, task lighting in the work areas, and those magnificent pendants to add your style.
So what’s next? Appliances! Selecting appliances with certain features will help make them safe and convenient for everyone in your household, including when great grandma and grandpa visit.
Consider these features:
Any Appliances in any room:
- Select easy to read controls that use larger, brighter and well-contrasted displays
- Install loop handles to allow for easy grip and pull; appliance pulls come in a variety of styles and finishes so you can incorporate this feature and create elegance
- Use pull-out faucets and levered handles; these features simplify and diversify the tasks of washing dishes, pots and pans, and cleaning the sink area
- Think reachable. Tailor the placement of appliances so that they are within reach of anyone using them.
- Select front loading machines for easy access, and raise them off the floor about 12-15 inches above the floor
- Select machines that allow you to change the opening direction so that it’ll open the easiest way
- Select a side-by-side refrigerator so you can place commonly-used foods at a convenient height; side-by-sides may not require as much space for door clearance, an added bonus
- The French Door refrigerator – two doors open the refrigerator section, and the freezer pull-out drawer opens below – stores everyday items at reachable level*
Microwaves and Ovens
- Locate the microwave at counter height or in a wall so it’s within reach; a drawer-style microwave with a touch-less push open button has a stylish, integrated look and is easy to access
- Select an oven with a side-swing door, or make it a wall oven
- Select an electric cook top with level burners so you can move contents easily between burners. This minimizes fire hazards and spills.
- Choose stove-front controls and a downdraft feature to pull the heat away from the chef
- Make sure your cook top clearly shows when burners are hot
This list is not all-inclusive, yet it starts you thinking about ways to create simplicity, style and convenience into your remodeling designs.
* Consumer Reports reviewed more than 100 refrigerators in 2014.Visit us next week for a summary of what they discovered.