When they get older logo

How to create a senior-friendly kitchen

Collaborative Post

The kitchen is the heart of any home, where families gather and spend quality time together. But it can also be a dangerous space, as many unwanted accidents can happen there, especially for seniors. If you have an elderly person living in your home, you need to be extra cautious and make your kitchen safe for them. The good news is that minor adjustments can often make huge differences, and you can take many precautions to prevent risks and transform your kitchen into a space where everyone is happy and secure.

Here are some tips on how to make your kitchen safe for elderly people.

Store Food Safely

When storing food, you need to think from an older person’s point of view. Many kitchen accidents happen when a senior tries to reach something that is placed further away, on a high shelf, and you don’t want that to happen. You also need to keep in mind to avoid very low shelves, as food placed there will be out of reach. The best way to store food for an elderly person is to put everything they need in the middle shelves and drawers.

Pay close attention to the refrigerator, and the food in it, to ensure that it is safe to eat. Look at the expiration date and throw away everything that has expired. If you need to remove the original packaging from a product, write the expiration date using a permanent marker to know when to dispose of them. Also, if you cook some meals, you can write on them how long it will be good to eat.

Make the kitchen easier to use

Seniors don’t need that many things in a kitchen. More important for them is to have a big space in their cooking areas, without too many obstacles. Many devices or drawers in the kitchen will increase the chances of injuries, so make sure you place only the essential items. Organisation is very important in this scenario because if your kitchen is efficient, your seniors will spend more time here and feel safer. Try to keep the tools, ingredients and appliances at the arm’s level to prevent possible accidents.

Buy senior-friendly kitchen products

Luckily there are a lot of products in the market that can ease the life of your seniors while also allowing them to remain independent and cook for themselves. Maybe these items seem insignificant, but they will help in the cooking process. These products include automatic jar openers, easy-open canisters, manual food choppers, cut-resistant gloves and many more.

Also, it helps to incorporate senior-friendly furniture that will help prevent risks. Choose functional drawers with the right height; they should neither be too tall nor too small. Also, pay attention to the edges of the counter, as round ones are preferred over sharp ones. Another safety idea is to have white kitchens to make sure that every object placed on the kitchen units is easily seen. This way, the risk of cutting themselves because they didn’t see a knife or because something fell  and broke into pieces will be eliminated.

Reduce fall risks

You can reduce fall risks by placing a non-slip mat where there is a great chance that water gets on the floor, like the area with a dishwasher, stove or sink. You can secure the mat by adding carpet tape around it; in this way, you will also reduce possible accidents from tripping over the carpet when moving around the kitchen. It is good to install non-slip flooring in the kitchen if you can. Another idea is to get slip-resistant shoes to be sure that walking around the kitchen will be easy and safe. Also, make sure that the lighting in the room is clear and bright enough. A comfortable kitchen chair can also prevent accidents because your loved one can take breaks when feeling tired and watch over their food while cooking without needing to stand up the entire time.

Install a smoke detector

An unwanted hazard that can happen in a kitchen is a fire. This can happen to people of all ages, but older adults are the most susceptible to this scenario. You can prevent the risk by installing a smoke detector in the kitchen. When detecting a fire, the alarm will start and call someone to help, saving your senior’s life. To prevent this risk, you can also make some small changes, like keeping the stove clear, without dish towels or curtains around, remind them to wear clothes that are fitted to their size and avoid loose or baggy clothing when cooking. Also, be sure that there is a senior-friendly fire extinguisher in your house and read fire safety measures together, so the elderly will know what to do in a fire situation.


You can prevent a lot of possible scenarios if you declutter regularly and keep the kitchen organised. You need to clean the entire kitchen at least once a week and pay extra attention to the seniors’ food. As older adults often have health problems, food poisoning can be deadly for them. The immune and digestive systems work slower than for young people, so you must ensure that elderly people always eat fresh food. There are some steps to take to prevent food poisoning, like:

  • Throw away food that stayed for more than three days
  • Always check the expiration date
  • Wash hands before preparing food
  • Make sure meat and fish are well cooked
  • Always rinse vegetables and fruits

A kitchen is a place where everyone needs to feel protected. If you implement these tips, you will show your seniors that you care about them and that their safety is a priority for you.

Image from Freepik


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x