If you are disabled, suffer from a medical condition or are simply not quite as dexterous as you used to be, it can be a real challenge to buy appliances that allow you to manage well in the kitchen. Many of the physical issues that come as part and parcel of a condition can lead to all sorts of unforeseen challenges in the kitchen.
For example, the loss of sense of smell, which is one of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, makes it impossible to smell a burning pan or notice when gas has been left on. One of our customers, whose husband has Parkinson’s, told us how pleased she was to find that we sold the Bosch Serie 6 gas hob. If the flame on this gas hob goes out or if a burner is left on for an excessively long time, the gas will shut off at source. This makes it safe not only for Parkinson sufferers but for those with dementia.
Anyone in a wheelchair or who has suffered a serious spinal injury will tell you how challenging it can be to navigate standard kitchens, which generally need to be adapted to accommodate additional under-counter space and to cater for the obvious mobility issues. Spinal injuries can also often lead to reduced hand and grip strength, as can arthritis.
One way to make things easier for those facing those issues is to install an electric (as opposed to gas) hob ideally with staggered burners to avoid stretching across hot burners. Hot, heavy pans can easily be dragged across an electric hob, avoiding the need to lift the pans across the clunky trivets which are typically a feature of gas hobs. The ultimate is an induction hob, which will not conduct heat unless there is something magnetic on the hob – an energy saver as well as a great safety feature.
Another top tip is to look for appliances with front controls for easy access. And, built-in ovens should be at eye-level and side-hinged. A stylish alternative is a Neff Hide & Slide built-in oven, with a fully retractable door. Eye-level ovens are also fantastic for those who struggle with knee or hip problems. The difficulty of getting a hot dish or roasting tray out of a low oven is generally not something people consider until it they can’t do it, but it is worth thinking about if you are planning a new kitchen.
We stock a whole range of products from quality brands which can make life easier if you have specific needs in the kitchen. Our experienced staff are always there to share their knowledge and provide personal advice to help customers make the right choice.