We bought our house knowing it needed a fair bit of work, but we could never have guessed how complicated the job would get in the end. It turns out not only do we have asbestos in the walls, but also, at some point, the previous owners had some asbestos insulation put in the roof. There are a lot more precautions that we need to make as result but, I'll feel a lot better knowing we aren't cooking and eating our meals near asbestos. Our remodeling contractor has been great and has stepped us through the whole process. Join us on our remodeling journey!
Becoming the caregiver for an elderly parent with dementia often involves inviting them to move in with you. You want them to keep their independence for as long as they're able to, and this means your home might need modifications to make this possible. The kitchen is an area that will benefit from an upgrade, and there are many custom kitchens that can be made to be user friendly for someone with dementia. Not only does this benefit your parent, but you also get a new kitchen. What are some changes that should be incorporated into your design?
One of the simplest ways to design a dementia-friendly kitchen is transparency. This is meant quite literally. All cupboards and storage units should be glass-fronted. A glass door is a simple design choice that means the contents of the space are on display, allowing your parent to clearly identify the item they need without having to hunt for it. For as long as they retain enough independence to use the kitchen, its use should be as streamlined as possible.
There is no dementia-specific material when it comes to kitchen surfaces. It's a matter of personal preference, but you should opt for a surface that's durable and easy to maintain. Beyond that, it's a case of your budget, since both vinyl laminates (at the cost-effective end) and engineered stone countertops (at the more costly end) are easy to maintain.
Other design choices are a matter of safety. They're additions which can easily be incorporated into custom kitchen designs and can even be added to existing appliances if your budget doesn't permit the replacement of certain items. Your new sink should come with a thermostatic mixing valve. This allows you to set the maximum allowable water temperature, preventing your parent from becoming scalded if they're not able to safely regulate the water temperature themselves.
Another important safety feature is an oven shut-off device. This feature serves a dual purpose. Firstly, it acts as an oven timer, so the oven cannot accidentally be left on after use. The secondary feature acts as a safety tool for the stovetop elements. It has a motion sensor and will deactivate once someone leaves the kitchen, reactivating to its previous setting when it detects that the user has re-entered the kitchen. This is a discreet device that can be incorporated into any kitchen design.
A new custom kitchen means a greater level of independence for your parent. And as mentioned, there's the added benefit of having a brand-new kitchen.Share