Life Easier in the Kitchen
are lots of gadgets and tricks for making it easier and safer in
the kitchen for people with disabilities. While you are your own
best problem solver, it's good to learn from the experiences of
others. We polled our advisors and combed the catalogues, and here's
a few of our favorites:
you use a wheelchair or need to sit while cooking, hang an unbreakable
mirror (toy or auto supply stores) at an angle above the stove
so that you can see into the pots on the stovetop.
a foam-like product which is commonly placed under rugs to keep
them from slipping, is a great jar opener. It can be purchased
from home improvement stores. Paint can openers and bottle openers
can also be used to pry apart the lid and jar so the jar can be
opened with less hand strength.
a piece of non-slip plastic shelf lining under a dish to keep
it from sliding on the table.
pots, pans and utensils that have flat handles. They are much
easier to grip. For larger pots and pans, choose ones with handles
on each side so that you can lift them without gripping.
you use a wheelchair, have the doors and shelves removed from
cabinets under your sink.
a lazy Susan on a refrigerator shelf or cabinet shelf. This will
make it easier to reach items that tend to disappear in the back.
you use a wheelchair, set a flat board on your lap to help carry
things around the kitchen. You might want to use one of those
bean-filled lap desks or a metal cookie sheet for a base. Make
sure the surface is heat-proof to avoid burns.
stabilize a mixing bowl, set it in a drawer and shut the drawer
against the bowl's sides, lean against the drawer to keep pressure
on the bowl's sides, which prevents it from rotating as you stir
or beat the ingredients in it.
knives that are lightweight and balanced so that the handle is
about as heavy as the blade. If you cannot easily grip the knife,
balance it in the crook of your hand to guide it and let the weight
and sharpness do the cutting.
an extended reacher handy to make it easier to reach things on
items that you use the most near the front of the cabinets and
in places you can reach. Consider having pullout shelves installed
in your cabinets.
make the refrigerator door or cabinet doors easier to open, tie
a loop of ribbon or rope around the door handle. Slip your forearm
through the loop and pull the door open.
a towel or fabric mat under appliances on your counter. This makes
it easier to pull the appliance to the front of the counter.
a long-handled spoon to help lift pot lids. This helps balance
the weight of the lid.
things easier in the kitchen resources...
8630 Fenton Street, Suite 930
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Easy Things to Make . . . To Make Things Easy
by Doreen Greenstein
Brookline Books: MA. 1997
Good Grips by General Housewares
Manual for People with Disabilities and the Aging: Meal preparation
by Judith Lannefeld Klinger and the Howard Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation
See also ...
Better Body: Eating for Health
for a healthy diet