20 Adaptive Kitchen Tools To Help Seniors Keep Cooking and Baking as They Age
A home-cooked meal is nourishing to the body and mind, and many elderly adults feel a great sense of pride and independence when cooking and baking for themselves and their family. As they age, seniors may need to make adjustments with the kitchen gadgets they use so they can continue indulging in this favorite pastime. Whether it is due to arthritis, loss of strength or a medical condition, something as simple as unscrewing a jar can become downright impossible for the elderly. Age-related improvements in the tools older adults use can help them continue enjoying their time in the kitchen. Here are 20 of the best kitchen tools for seniors.
Appliances and Adaptive Tools
A large part of maintaining independence in the kitchen is utilizing helpful tools to complete everyday tasks. An electric can opener is easier to operate than a manual one, especially if a senior has arthritis. Automatic coffee makers are safer for brewing coffee than using the stove. Similarly, a stand mixer is easier to use than a hand-held mixer or hand-kneading dough.
There’s a large variety of vegetable slicers that are safer for seniors to use than sharp knives. Food processors are another great option if an older adult’s hands are unsteady.
Also, elderly adults can add an automatic hand soap dispenser near the kitchen sink. Anything that can make life a bit easier for an aging adult, even something as simple as washing their hands, is worth considering!
Existing home and kitchen tools may take on new or additional purposes for seniors. The Arthritis Foundation provides some arthritis-friendly cooking tips including using a small kitchen funnel to separate egg yolks from egg whites and using a ribbon to pull open a refrigerator.
A reacher/grabber tool can safely retrieve lightweight items that are out of reach, and a magnifying glass can help a senior follow a recipe or read the fine print on food packaging. A cookbook stand makes it easier for older adults to stay focused on the recipe they’re making without having to worry about propping the book up, or it falling.
An anti-fatigue mat can help elderly adults stand at the sink or stove comfortably. It’s also a great idea to get an appropriate chair or stool specifically for the kitchen. Creating a meal can be a long process, so the ability to sit comfortably in the kitchen while their meal cooks is quite valuable to a senior.
Food Serving and Storage Tools
Fine china is often set out for special occasions. However, day to day, it’s worth considering lightweight, nonbreakable options. Seniors may have trouble lifting heavy ceramic dishes or may drop one and cause injury; therefore, lightweight dishes, utensils and storage containers are best.
Tools When Out of the Kitchen
Finally, elderly adults should consider how they will enjoy everything their kitchen has to offer when they are in other rooms of the home. Perhaps a utility cart could help easily bring food to the dining room table or to other areas of the home. A wheelchair tray or cup holder for a walker is similarly a great idea.
If a senior has the space, it’s also worth considering if a mini-fridge makes sense for their home, perhaps in the living room or bedroom. The kitchen can be a long walk from the bedroom, so having fresh food and drinks closer at hand could help aging adults continue good eating and drinking habits.
Nearly 90% of seniors want to age in their own homes. Right at Home is a great resource for making home modifications for aging in place. Download our Aging-in-Place Guide to learn how to ensure your loved one’s kitchen, and the rest of their home, works best for them.
Right at Home’s professional in-home caregivers provide services that support both the physical and emotional health of senior clients. Use our location finder to get in touch with the location nearest you and ask for a FREE in-home consultation.