Home Designs For Life: Remodeling Ideas To Increase Safety, Function, And Accessibility In The Home.

Episode 28: The Benefits of a Smart Refrigerator for Seniors at Home

October 17, 2022 Janet Engel, OT/L, CAPS Season 3 Episode 28
Home Designs For Life: Remodeling Ideas To Increase Safety, Function, And Accessibility In The Home.
Episode 28: The Benefits of a Smart Refrigerator for Seniors at Home
Show Notes Transcript

Our kitchen appliances are one of the biggest investments we make in our home. Where these appliances are placed in the kitchen helps to determine their utility and value to the homeowner, especially to older adults. In fact, the types of appliances and where they’re installed ultimately determine how smart, functional, and accessible a kitchen is. Many of the new designs for appliances from top manufacturers also help to make the kitchen stylish and beautiful. Let’s explore what appliance features are at the top of the list when it comes to accessibility and function for the refrigerator.

Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator

Frigidaire with Adjustable Freezer Drawer

Cafe French Door Smart Energy Star Refrigerator

Blog Post: https://homedesignsforlife.com/2022/10/18/the-benefits-of-a-smart-refrigerator-for-seniors-at-home-2023/


Support the show

https://homedesignsforlife.com/

homedesignsforlife@gmail.com

00:00:00] Hello everyone. It's so nice to be with you again today, and we are going to be talking about appliances in the kitchen for aging in place. Specifically, I'm going to be talking about the refrigerator and how the refrigerator plays a big role in helping us stay healthy. And many other aspects of aging in place and how it all fits into our accessible and functional kitchen.

So our kitchen appliances are one of the biggest investments that we make in our home. Where these appliances are placed in the kitchen helps to determine their utility and value to the homeowner, especially to older adults. In fact, the types of appliances and where they're installed ultimately determine how smart, functional, and [00:01:00] accessible a kitchen is.

Many of the new designs for appliances from top manufacturers also help to make the kitchen stylish and beautiful. And let's face it, who doesn't wanna stylish and beautiful kitchen? Right? Let's explore what appliance features are at the top of the list when it comes to accessibility and function for the refrigerator.

So the refrigerator requires a planned space so that it does not protrude beyond the adjacent cabinetry and encroach on clear floor space. So let's keep in mind that having clear floor space in our kitchen and throughout our house is very, very important when it comes to fall prevention. So we're gonna plan a recess in the wall.

Or extend the depth of your countertop to achieve a [00:02:00] seamless look and safe layout. Also, consider how much clearance you have in front of the refrigerator for door swing. Keep in mind that clear floor space should accommodate one user in front of the fridge and another person passing through.

Refrigerator design also has a significant impact on function and storage. A side by side refrigerator offers many height options for storage of food refrigerators with under counter drawers, increase accessibility from a sit sitting position as designs continue to improve. Consumers with a wide range of abilities will be able to use their appliances more practically than ever before.

Smart technology in appliances is here to [00:03:00] stay, and why would we ever want it to go away? These features, can track stored food, and allow for a longer shelf life through door mounted tablets for maintaining inventory. Eating. Did you guys know that eating spoiled food is a leading cause of food poisoning In the United States? Expiration dates are intended to alert consumers when a product should be thrown out, but these labels are small and difficult to read.

Even for younger adults, seniors who can't make out the expiration date often resort to the sniff test for foods like milk and meat. And unfortunately, this is far from foolproof, especially if your sense of smell isn't as sharp as it once was. High tech detection, artificial intelligence and wireless connections, help users plan meals with available [00:04:00] food and develop a shopping list.

Smart fridges also incorporate wifi connectivity into a refrigerator, allowing for additional features like voice control via Alexa or Google Assistant . A smart fridge might be able to let you know if someone left the door open or perform diagnostics, and much more. These features are invaluable for seniors and their caregivers.

Some of the features that improve the utility of a refrigerator are water and ice dispensers on the doors for ease of use. And then we are also increasing accessibility to water because it's right there in front of us. We don't have to open the door of the fridge, we don't have to carry a heavy pitcher which I would never recommend for anyone, but especially for older adults because of our arthritis in [00:05:00] the wrist.

Also, if you spill your water on the floor, now you've increased your fall risk, right? So it's much better if you have a water dispenser on the door of your fridge, and then you're also likely to reduce the risk of dehydration, which is a very common reason why people age 65 and older fall. Okay? Because dehydration leads to confusion

so  having a freezer located on the bottom of the unit that is also  will improve, improve utility for a refrigerator, having a side by side style with columns of various width with having a French door style refrigerator. And having base cabinet drawers units specific for the refrigerator and the freezer.

So as we age and our abilities change, we want our [00:06:00] spaces and appliances to change with us as well, so we can remain as independent as possible for as long as possible. Let's invest in products that are going to do the work for us and simplify our lives. Increase safety, accessibility, and function, and thereby helping us create a home for life.

Thank you for being with me today and for listening. I will provide links. To appliances that meet the criteria that I mentioned in this podcast. And please go ahead and read my blog. I will also provide a link to my blog, and thank you again for listening. I look forward to next time that we're together.