Ageing in place isn’t a new trend amongst Australia’s seniors, but it remains an ongoing one that’s totally current for 2022. Many seniors have made the decision to continue living at home for as long as they are able to do so rather than seeking aged care outside the home.
Along with this decision comes a series of other important decisions about how to ensure that their home is as accommodating as possible. Many seniors are remodeling their homes or making other accommodations that make the ageing process easier to cope with.
In particular, the kitchen’s features are of utmost concern to seniors who are choosing to age in place. These days, seniors are doing a massive amount of cooking at home rather than eating out. The kitchen’s appliances and amenities have become increasingly important considerations.
Beyond that, seniors typically also want their kitchens to look stylish and inviting. A cheerful, up-to-date kitchen can make the tasks of cooking and cleaning up afterwards seem more compelling. Practicality is also an important consideration, because nobody wants to spend more time than necessary on cleanup duties.
The following are some of 2022’s most important kitchen trends for seniors to be aware of:
A Hands-Free Faucet
When you need to wash your hands or fill a pot with water, there’s no need to fumble to turn on your kitchen faucet. The latest kitchen faucets have sensors that can detect nearby motion and turn on when you’re ready to use them. This popular feature in public restrooms is now broadly available to the general public for home use.
A Practical Stainless Steel Sink
These days, you have an overwhelming number of styles and choices available for trendy sink configurations. There are colored sinks, copper sinks, ceramic sinks, glossy sinks, matte sinks and a zillion other sink options. That said, it’s still prudent to choose a practical, no-nonsense kitchen sink in the most versatile fabrication and style: a classic stainless steel sink. Many of your other options are harder to clean and may look dated in less than a decade.
Levers Instead of Door Knobs
Levers tend to be significantly easier to open than classic-styled round doorknobs are. This is particularly true for people who suffer from arthritis pains in their hands.
Senior-Friendly Kitchen Lighting
Age-related macular degeneration can make it challenging for some seniors to see as well as they used to. Senior-friendly lighting is beneficial in the kitchen and also throughout the home. It’s ideal to implement motion-activated lighting in the kitchen, which helps to eliminate a situation where you have to fumble in the dark to turn the lights on. If this isn’t feasible in your kitchen, another possibility is to install lighted switches that draw attention to their location, making it easier to find the lights and turn them on.
Ample Pantry Space
In the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis, many seniors prefer to shop less frequently and buy more when they do have to make a trip to the store. To facilitate this, there has been an upswing in demand for pantry space. Across the pond, the American Association of Architects reports that architects have been doing increasing numbers of home renovation projects that allow people to accommodate more food storage in their kitchens at home. Here in Australia, the butler’s pantry has become a popular phenomenon amongst the well-to-do.
Slip-Resistant Kitchen Flooring
As a demographic group, seniors have to worry more about slipping and falling than people in other age groups do. This is particularly a concern in the kitchen, where it is commonplace for water drips from the sink to make the floor slick and hazardous.
Ordinary kitchen tile can be slippery, so it may be worthwhile to consider using other flooring materials in the seniors’ kitchen. Some of the least slippery options include Micha schist stone flooring, travertine flooring, sandstone flooring, carpet tiles, vinyl planks, slip-resistant tile, anti-slip mats and anti-slip treads.
Wall Unit Appliances
Some traditional appliances require you to bend and stoop if you want to use them. For example, older-styled dishwashers require stooping to load and unload, and older ovens require stooping to get your baked goods out. These older appliance styles are quickly becoming outdated. Amongst the senior set, they are being replaced with wall units that do not require bending or stooping. Some of the latest ovens feature doors that open to the side instead of opening downwards. This is an advantage for comfortable usage.
These features are some of the most in-demand kitchen items for 2022. For those of you who plan to age in place, these features can all help to make the kitchen more accessible and user-friendly.