You don’t necessarily have to do an expensive remodeling of your kitchen to make it wheelchair accessible. You can create a wheelchair-accessible kitchen with just minor changes, and many of these adjustment costs may even be tax-deductible.
A wheelchair-accessible kitchen is necessary if you want to cook nutritious meals for yourself and your family. There are several situations where wheelchair-bound people might encounter issues. Here are some of them, as well as possible solutions:
When counters are too high to use for food preparation from a sitting position:
- Use pullout cutting boards or place a large cutting board across a narrow cutlery/storage drawer.
- Use the kitchen table and a cutting board.
- Use a cutting board wide enough to go across one or both sink wells in the kitchen sink (also makes garbage disposal easily accessible for disposal of scraps).
Difficult to reach faucets
- Remove cabinet doors just below the sink so you can pull in and under the sink for direct access.
- Keep cabinet doors in place below the sink but install right-angle hinges on the doors so that they swing wide for easy pull-under access.
Difficult to reach refrigerator or freezer
- Install lazy susans in the freezer and refrigerator for easy access.
- Purchase inexpensive reachers or grabbers that will allow you to reach items on higher shelves.
- Buy a side-by-side freezer and refrigerator, or one with the refrigerator on top and the freezer on the bottom. French door refrigerator models also have wide swinging dual doors and pull out shelves for easier access.
- Buy separate freestanding refrigerator and freezer. These appliances are easy to access from a seated position.
Difficult to reach high cabinets for storage
Storage in a wheelchair-accessible kitchen can be problematic, especially with high cabinets. If you can’t lower cabinets in a cost effective way, they’re largely unusable. In that case:
- Store dishes and glassware in lower cabinets, installing pullout shelves for easy access.
- Buy wood or wood laminate lateral filing cabinets for accessible, attractive freestanding storage.
For more information about how to establish a wheelchair-accessible kitchen, contact Power Mobility & Lifts. We’re happy to help.