GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Is your aging loved one in harm’s way in the kitchen? Today’s Sandwich Generation segment focused on kitchen safety and seniors.

Access Solutions Director Alissa Boroff appeared on KARE 11 at 11 Tuesday to share free advice on how to keep aging family members independant and injury free. Home modifications are one solution to help seniors live independently. These changes can be as simple as adding handrails, grab bars, and lever handles, as well as widening doorways. The key is to make the changes early.
Alternatives for full scale meal preparation include food sharing, food delivery programs and home care assistance.

Tips for Improving Safety and Access in the Kitchen:


  • No throw rugs
  • Non-slip flooring
  • Non-glare surfaces


  • Dimmer switches
  • Rocker switches
  • Task lighting at stove, sink and work areas


  • D-shaped handles for ease of use
  • Drawers or pull outs for ease of use
  • Sit down work area
  • Portable cart
  • Fold-up at end of cabinet
  • Add lazy-susans to cabinets for ease of access
  • Locks to limit access if necessary
  • De-clutter and organize for ease of access


  • Easy to access and read controls
  • Use DIY white markings for low vision, puff paint for tactile
  • Non-glare panels
  • Lock features are included in many current models to limit access
  • Microwave at countertop level
  • Countertops next to each appliance to set items
  • Heat resistant surface next to stove


  • Lever handles


  • Large, contrasting print
  • Enlarged, grippable handles

Additional resources:

National Aging in Place Council – local chapter: A network of professionals from a variety of specialty areas that work with older adults and their families to promote aging in place. They have created ACT III, a guide for seniors and their families to talk about planning for Aging in Place.

ERA-South of the River - The Elder Resource Association(ERA) is a group of professionals in the South of the River market dedicated to improving the lives of seniors. They produce a Resource Guide every year with information and resources.

Support Groups – there are support groups throughout the area that focus on caregiving, diagnosis specific (MS, Parkinsons, Dementia, etc).Senior Linkage Line:

City, County and State resources- Many cities and counties have Aging Initiatives that address issues, concerns and provide resources for seniors and their families.  

AARP HomeFit Guide - The AARP HomeFit Guide was created to help people stay in the home they love by turning where they live into a “lifelong home” suitable for themselves and anyone in their household. The guide offers solutions that range from simple do-it-yourself fixes to improvements that require skilled expertise.

Practical Guide to Universal Home Design - This guide includes a room-by-room checklist that can help you consider your options and increase the ease and flexibility of your home. These common sense features can make your home a more pleasant place to live.

AOTA Tips for Remaining-in-Place in Your Home An occupational therapist will work with you to ensure that recommendations to increase independence and safety are specific to your wants and needs, skills, environment, budget, and other criteria. The following tips come from occupational therapy practitioners who work with older adults to help them stay in their homes.

National Aging In Place Council (NAIPC) ACT III Planning Guide - This guide is designed to help you make your plan for Aging in Place. It walks you through the essential concerns to sustain a safe and secure lifestyle in your home. The five areas are Housing, Finance, Legal, Health/Wellness, Social.

AoA Home Modification Fact Sheet - This fact sheet gives tips and resources for implementing home modifications to promote safety and ease of use.