The main considerations in making a kitchen safer for an elderly person are to account for changing physical abilities. The key to safe design is to think ahead to problems or accidents that could occur and take steps to prevent them from happening.

Here are some of the key considerations in kitchen design:

> use ground-fault circuit interrupters on all outlets near water

> use moisture-proof electrical fixtures near sinks and cooking surfaces

> install only anti-scald faucets

> use lever-type handles on faucets

> install a pot-filler faucet that swivels flush with the wall 101 Ways to Save Money When by by Dan Fritschen

> choose appliances with controls on the top and to one side to make them easier to see, but keep them out of the way when cooking

> color contract between floor surfaces and trim

> color contrast between counter tops and front edges of cabinet faces

> choose easy to use hardware, including lever door handles, push electrical plates, and loop handle pulls on drawers and cabinet doors

> create stretches of continuous counter tops for easy sliding of heavy items, especially between the refrigerator, the sink and the cooking surface

> full-extension pull out drawers, shelves and racks in base cabinets for ease of access

> adjustable height shelves in wall-mounted cabinets

> install organizing and accessibility devices like pull out shelves, lazy Susans, in hard to reach cabinets

> cooking surface with staggered burners

> non-glare lighting

> keep frequently used items on shelves between knee and shoulder height.

There might be other adjustments or accommodations, depending on the needs of the individual. These guidelines, however, should make your kitchen safer for an elderly person.

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