Visual impairment may make it more difficult to navigate your kitchen, but by putting a few strategies in place, you can get comfortable in that space once again. There are three main areas to consider when planning: safety, organization, and simplification.
Safety should always be your first priority. For example, keeping cabinet and cupboard doors closed when not in use makes everyone’s kitchen look neat and tidy, but staying vigilant about this habit has more importance than that. Open doors become a tripping hazard when you can’t see them in your way.
To avoid bumping against sharp counters or fishing for light sockets, you can outline the edged with wide electrical tape in a contrasting color. And to find common settings on your oven or other appliance dials, use bright nail polish or sticky dots to identify where to stop.
Keeping your fingers away from knives and your hands away from flames should also be a priority. Cut resistant gloves and kitchen knives with slicing guides help avoid slip-ups. Installing appliances like the flameless induction cooktop eliminates the possibility of being seriously burned by stove surfaces. And using measuring guides can keep you safe from overfilling containers with hot liquids.
Organization is the key to being able to quickly locate the things you need to whip together that perfect meal. Make use of anything you can find that helps you label, sort, or categorize the items in your kitchen.
A Talking Label Wand allows you to record your own talking labels for all of your pantry or kitchen cabinet items. It creates customized labels that play back to you at the touch of the wand. Barcode readers pull from a database of product information to give you an auditory overview of your grocery items.
Invent a way to sort and categorize items that is easy for you to be consistent about. Keep like items grouped together on shelves. Try using a tactile system, like bump dots, rubber bands, or braille tape for categorizing canned foods. Types of utensils can all go together in the same drawer based on their function.
Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
When you are visually impaired, the last thing you need to do is create extra steps for yourself in the kitchen. Purchasing appliances that make cooking and clean up quicker or easier is worth the investment.
Cut back on cleanup time by making more one-dish-wonders in the crockpot. Crockpot meals typically don’t dirty up too many other dishes. Just put everything in together, turn the knob, and walk away. Crockpots also eliminate the safety concerns you may have when operating an oven or stove.
Anything automatic is a plus. Automatic can openers keep you safe from sharp edges and help you line up the can and the blade without fishing around for the best angle. Electric kettles or appliances like the Hot Shot heat up water for hot drinks and soups. Using something like this is faster and safer than monitoring boiling water on the stove or in the microwave.
ILA likes to help keep you in your kitchen and with your shopping. Browse our selection of kitchen aids help you stay active and independent.