There is nothing quite like the comfort of a home-cooked meal. But when you are living with paralysis, the process of cooking can be very difficult in a standard kitchen – especially if you also have hand paralysis. While ultimately a remodel of your kitchen will make things easier and safer, not everyone can afford to make this change immediately.
But the good news is there are many simply ways to make your kitchen more accessible without calling the contractor. Here are 5 to get you started.
Just rearranging your kitchen can make cooking much easier. For example, put items that you use regularly, such as bowls or cookware, on shelves in bottom cabinets or other places easier to reach. Place these items between waist and should height for the easiest access. To make things even more efficient, place those items on a Lazy Susan – that way, you don’t have to dig or reach to get what you want.
Get a microwave oven.
The microwave gets a bad rap – but contrary to popular belief, it’s not just for popcorn and frozen meals! When you are in a wheelchair, a microwave is much safer than using a standard oven, and you can use it to cook just about anything. Plus, just as with anything, there are different levels of microwaves. A nicer one will run you more, but it will also give you more flexibility.
Who doesn’t love kitchen gadgets? And trust us, there are a ton out there designed to make your life a lot easier. Hands free salad spinners, two-handed slicers, touch can openers, lap cutting boards, and so much more. There are some great videos on YouTube that review and demo these tools. Some of our favorites come from YouTube user imbonnie who has very cool gadgets that can be bought just about anywhere.
Bring in a corner table.
Chances are, the counter-tops in your kitchen are a little too high to be used for food preparation. If that’s the case, one solution is to bring in a corner table. Be sure to put the table in an area where it won’t be in your way as you travel throughout the kitchen. The tabletop should be no higher than 30 inches, which is a little shorter than the average tabletop, but still high enough to fit your wheelchair under. Even better, go for a pedestal base so you can move around the table freely.
Get creative with containers.
There’s no law that says you have to keep your spices, oils, etc. in their original containers. In fact, switching them to containers that are easier for you to handle is a simple way to make your kitchen more accessible. For example, putting your olive oil in an easy grip water bottle or handles on your pasta containers. Our YouTube friend imbonnie has some suggestions for that as well.
As we said, these are just a few simply ways to make your kitchen more accessible without remodeling. This is certainly not an exhaustive list! For more tips, check out our Home Accessibility page on MageeRehab.org.
We want to hear from you! What hacks have you discovered to make your kitchen more accessible?