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Cooking Strategies for the Disabled

In February of last year, I was hit by a car while crossing the street. As a result, I was in a wheelchair for about a month. And, because I broke both bones in my left forearm, my hand is to this day weaker than my right. The result, I’m not able to do all the things I was once able to do in the kitchen and have had to makes some adjustments.

Whether your physical disability is permanent or temporary, you may need to make some adaptions around the home in order to carry on with your day-to-day life. These adaptations can help you live at home without losing your independence.

In this blog post, I run down some tips and tricks that can help disabled individuals in the kitchen and allow them to continue cooking their favorite meals.

De-Clutter Your Kitchen

If there are too many items stored in one cupboard or drawer, you can find it very difficult to remove one of them. So, it’s a good idea to spend some time decluttering your kitchen. Make sure that there aren’t too many items and ingredients spread out on top of your countertops. Give yourself plenty of space. Plus, don’t overfill any storage units. This could restrict your access to things that have been placed in the back.

Forget About Knives

Some disabilities make it difficult for individuals to use their hands properly. If you have a poor grip as a result, you should try to reduce your use of knives, as they could easily slip out of your hand and cause injury. One thing that stands up to the amazing test of being easy to handle as well as efficiently chopping is a food chopper. All you do is place the food that needs chopping inside and then you pull the handle. The blades inside whizz around, chopping all of the ingredients up! Some blenders and food processors can help you with this task, as well.

Think about Countertop Height

If you are in a wheelchair, you may need to reconsider the height of your countertops. After all, those at a standard height will probably be too high for you to use while you are sitting in your chair. However, there are plenty of companies that can fit lower countertops, which will make it easier for you to get to work in your kitchen.

If you can’t remodel your kitchen, you can invest in a kitchen counter station that will work for you. This would be a rolling or stationary table that is the right height and width for you to easily access while sitting in your wheelchair. You may have to improvise or have something custom made. A quick search on Amazon revealed no good results.

Modernize Your Kitchen

If you can afford to completely modernize your kitchen, you may find that adding lots of new appliances can enhance your cooking experience. For instance, if you add a dishwasher, you won’t have to struggle to reach your sink to wash all your dishes anymore. When you do add more appliances, make sure that they are easy for you to use. You can often find ones with extra big buttons and dials which can be easier for those with a disability to use. Also, make sure that they don’t have sharp edges or corners. Otherwise, you might hurt yourself if you accidentally ride your wheelchair into them!

Lots of people enjoy cooking and baking. There is no reason why a disability should prevent you from enjoying this pastime. Just follow all of the above tips, be creative, and you can make cooking easier for you!

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About the author

Carma Spence has been experimenting in the kitchen since she was four years old and loves trying out new recipe ideas. She is the author of Bonkers for Bundt Cakes and Your Perfect Pie, as well as author and contributor to several more non-food-related books. With Carma's Cookery, she is taking her passion for empowering people and blending it with her passion for cooking, gift-giving and entertaining.

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