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Thread: Kitchen help

  1. #1

    Kitchen help

    I find that I need to be able to do more in the kitchen as my wife is having health problems that limit what she can do. We are having a lower work station installed, but the stove and refrigerator are problematic. Can anyone suggest websites for these products that are more w/c friendly? Any other suggestions?

  2. #2
    What's your level? What exacly is problematic? I ight have some suggestions.

    "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow"
    ~ Anon

  3. #3
    I'm a low para with good sitting balance. The stove range is too high to see in the pots and you have to reach over the front burners to get to the back ones. The refrigerator door and the very front of the refrigerator is all that is accessible. The dishwasher is too low. The laundry room is totally inaccessible. However, even if we move the washer and dryer, I'm not sure I can get into them. I'm most interested in viewing appliances that incorporate universal design or have been specifically designed for people who use w/c's.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jeff B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Ontario, Canada
    I have this stove from KitchenAid:


    All of the control are on the front so you can reach them. It isn't as easy to use as a roll under range and separate roll under wall oven would be but it doesn't require any expensive kitchen modifications. It is a pricey stove though.

    For seeing into pots some people put an angled mirror on the wall behind the stove.

    If you are already having some kitchen work done maybe you can have the dishwasher raised a bit. You can keep things in the fridge in grocery bags so that they are easier to grab from the back wih a reacher.

    Depending on how your laundry room is set up and where the walls are you might be able to widen the door enough to open up the room and give you some space to get in there. You can use a broomstick with a plastic coated hook on the end to get your clothes out. If your washer is a top loader an angled mirror above it can help you look in to make sure you get everything out when it is done.

    A cheap alternative might just be a hand held mirror, or this $10 extendable one from IKEA:

    Frack mirror

    Thorough renovations are expensive, but as a low para some minor renovations would probably be enough to help you get by without costing a ton of money.

  5. #5
    You can get a new publication on accessible kitchen design free from the PVA:

    Kitchen Design for the Wheelchair User

    Seeing into the pots on the stove can be made much easier by installing an over-stove mirror.

    Front loading washers and dryers should be usable...even those with low tetraplegia are totally independent in using ours at the SCI center where I work. We bought ours from Sears (Kenmore).

    A side-by-side refrigerator is preferred by some. You can get pull out trays as part of the refrigerator, or install them yourself.

    A stove with the controls on the front instead of the back are safer to use, and easier to find nowdays too. Consider putting in a separate rangetop where you can pull in underneath the counter for easier access. This way you can install a wall mounted separate oven at the height that is best for you.

    Here is a good site for small appliances, knives, cutting boards, etc. that are easier to use:

    Sammons Kitchen Equipment.


  6. #6
    When I had a stove with the dials at the back I used a stick with a notch on one end to turn the dials. An OT made mine but it could be easily done. I have front loading washers so can't help you there except that I use a wheled laundry basket.

    "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow"
    ~ Anon

  7. #7
    Thanks all for your thoughtful and informative responses. I'll let you know what we do.

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