Staying independent

Creating a safe home

"I want to know what changes I can make so I can continue to live in it safely."

Kitchen

Need a little help to stay independent?

Age UK has a range of products and services from trusted partners that can help you to continue doing things for yourself.

Our tips

Here’s a list of things you can do to make it safer and easier for you to use your kitchen.

Kitchen items

  • Make sure the things you use most often are within easy reach. For example, keep your cups and tea and/or coffee supplies next to the kettle.
  • Put heavy items in lower cupboards at arm height, and push them along the work surfaces to transport them rather than lift them unnecessarily, especially if you use a walking aid.
  • Try to keep everything you need at floor level, so you don’t need to reach up or climb steps to get to something. If you do access something out of reach, use sturdy steps with a bar to hold onto. Never use a chair or stool.

Appliances

  • Use lightweight kitchen appliances, such as the kettle or toaster, where possible.
  • If you are worried about leaving the oven or hob on, make your own sign to show you whether it is on or off. Leave a note where you’ll see it to remind you to turn the power off.
  • Use lightweight ovenware with handles.

Furniture

  • If you do not have a table in your kitchen, make sure you have a chair at a suitable height that allows you to sit down while you are carrying out tasks, such as preparing vegetables or washing dishes.

Equipment that may help

There are lots of living aids that can help you to use the kitchen safely, these include a:

  • specially-designed kitchen trolley - this can help you easily move your meals from the kitchen to where you want to eat
  • long-handled mop - so you can clean up spills without needing to bend down
  • specialised jar and bottle opener - to help you open jars and bottles you would usually struggle to open
  • kettle tipper - this is a kettle on a cradle and means that you don’t have to lift the kettle to pour a drink
  • specialised chopping board - this chopping board has a clamp for your food which can help you cut food with one hand and the food won’t slip away.

Find out more about aids, equipment and adaptations to make your life easier.