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How to Maintain Your Independence in the Kitchen

Photo credit: Shutterstock - https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/happy-senior-husband-wife-prepare-healthy-1207104181

Living in your own space at home is often at the core of many people’s retirement plans, so if health difficulties — such as chronic health conditions — arise and challenge this, don’t be alarmed. Instead, assess what aspects of your independent living may be affected and plan accordingly.

No matter what age we are, everybody should be able to maintain their ability to make food and drinks for themselves. Not only is this an essential life skill that helps us to keep our independence at home, but eating well also means you’re more likely to feel healthier, stay active for longer and protect yourself against illness.

While cooking skills can certainly feel trickier in later years, sometimes all you need is a different approach. There are a variety of reliable daily living aids and tips and tricks to help you with tasks, so even if your hands are becoming unsteady or your grip is weakening, you can prolong both your confidence and independence in the kitchen.

Make a Hot Drink with Ease

It goes without saying that if you find the kettle too heavy to lift, there’s a risk of spilling boiling hot water on yourself. However, there are plenty of accessories to help you pour with ease so you can continue making those every-day brews.

A kettle tipper takes the weight of the kettle so all you have to do is tip it forward and back again. Simply leave the kettle on the tipper, pour in a cup of water, heat and enjoy any time you like.

If you are visually impaired, there’s a level liquid indicator that helps to prevent hot water and other liquids from overflowing while making a drink. Place the device on the side of a cup and it will let you know when the liquid has reached the top through a series of audible beeps or vibrations.

Cut Vegetables Safely

A food preparation board is especially great for anyone with arthritis or weak motor skills, as it holds everything securely in place so nothing will slip or roll away. This one tool helps you to peel, cut, slice, grate, spread and clean by using clamps and a spiked grip to hold all kinds of food, jars and bottles.

You can also wear cut-resistant gloves, which are designed to endure the sharp-edged blades of your knives and slicers while you slash and dash away.

Get Comfortable

Half of the battle with maintaining your independence in the kitchen is feeling comfortable while carrying out tasks. If you’re straining to reach items or struggling to stand for periods of time, this can understandably affect your ability to do this.

If height is a problem, try storing your utensils at a lower level so that everything is within easy reach. You could also use a portable perching stool to sit at a relaxed height in the kitchen, which will allow you to sit and rise more easily. Additionally, why not have a go at using a reacher? It’s the perfect tool to effortlessly grip and retrieve items.

Eat and Drink without Spills

Not only are there tools to help you prepare and cook food, but if dexterity is a difficulty, then there are loads of items to help you open, eat and drink too. For example, there’s easy-grip cutlery, scoop plates and bowls (which help to scoop food onto a fork without spillage) or an anti-slip tray if you lack coordination.

Even if you’re not yet at the stage of considering your independent living options, it’s important to know what daily living aids and support are available so if the time comes, you know exactly what to start implementing.

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