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Making Life Easier in the Kitchen for the Disabled

Food Fitness to Nourish Your Body

There are lots of gadgets and tricks for making it easier and safer in the kitchen for people with disabilities. While you are your own best problem solver, it's good to learn from the experiences of others. We polled our advisors and combed the catalogues, and here's a few of our favorites:

Wheelchair

  • If you use a wheelchair or need to sit while cooking, hang an unbreakable mirror (toy or auto supply stores) at an angle above the stove so that you can see into the pots on the stovetop.
  • Dysom, a foam-like product which is commonly placed under rugs to keep them from slipping, is a great jar opener. It can be purchased from home improvement stores. Paint can openers and bottle openers can also be used to pry apart the lid and jar so the jar can be opened with less hand strength.
  • Place a piece of non-slip plastic shelf lining under a dish to keep it from sliding on the table.
  • Choose pots, pans and utensils that have flat handles. They are much easier to grip. For larger pots and pans, choose ones with handles on each side so that you can lift them without gripping.
  • If you use a wheelchair, have the doors and shelves removed from cabinets under your sink.
  • Put a lazy Susan on a refrigerator shelf or cabinet shelf. This will make it easier to reach items that tend to disappear in the back.
  • If you use a wheelchair, set a flat board on your lap to help carry things around the kitchen. You might want to use one of those bean-filled lap desks or a metal cookie sheet for a base. Make sure the surface is heat-proof to avoid burns.
  • To stabilize a mixing bowl, set it in a drawer and shut the drawer against the bowl's sides, lean against the drawer to keep pressure on the bowl's sides, which prevents it from rotating as you stir or beat the ingredients in it.
  • Choose knives that are lightweight and balanced so that the handle is about as heavy as the blade. If you cannot easily grip the knife, balance it in the crook of your hand to guide it and let the weight and sharpness do the cutting.
  • Keep an extended reacher handy to make it easier to reach things on higher shelves.
  • Keep items that you use the most near the front of the cabinets and in places you can reach. Consider having pullout shelves installed in your cabinets.
  • To make the refrigerator door or cabinet doors easier to open, tie a loop of ribbon or rope around the door handle. Slip your forearm through the loop and pull the door open.
  • Put a towel or fabric mat under appliances on your counter. This makes it easier to pull the appliance to the front of the counter.
  • Use a long-handled spoon to help lift pot lids. This helps balance the weight of the lid.

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Disclaimer: The material on this Web site is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or fitness professional. Please consult with your physician before beginning any fitness program or fat or weight reduction program. FitnessandFreebies.com takes no responsibility for individual results, or any claim made by a third party.