• Find the right bulb: As we get older, we need more light to compensate for age-related changes in vision. Make sure to update to brighter bulbs if needed, but never exceed the maximum amount of wattage for your electrical system. If you’re not sure, LED bulbs are a good pick: they consume 80% of the energy of incandescent bulbs and rarely exceed wattage.
  • Consider smart lights: Once you know the right bulb for your home, we recommend buying smart bulbs (we like the Kasa Smart Light Bulbs) and pairing them with Alexa so that you can use voice commands to control them.
  • Test how liquids look in the light: When you install new bulbs, test the light to ensure there aren’t areas where there is a glare or where it would be difficult to spot liquid (oil, grease, water).


  • Keep it consistent: Flooring should be consistent in both height and texture throughout the entire home to avoid having to transition between different surfaces.
  • Explore vinyl: Vinyl flooring is a good option for the kitchen: it’s water-resistant, easy to install, and more forgiving than surfaces like tile or marble in the event of a fall.
  • Use contrasting colors: Avoid dark or heavily patterned flooring like black or navy; it might make the ground more difficult to see. Using contrasting colors across different surfaces— floors, chairs, cabinets — makes them easier to see. (Note that certain vision problems like glaucoma or cataracts can influence color and pattern detection.)


  • Create storage space in the center: An ideal refrigerator has ample storage space in the center, preventing the need to reach up or down.
  • Find a side-by-side fridge and freezer: Look for an appliance that has the refrigerator and freezer side-by-side (instead of the refrigerator on top and the freezer on the bottom). This prevents having to bend down to reach freezer items.
  • Look for lighting: Make sure the refrigerator is well-lit inside.
  • Add a lazy susan: Adding a single or double lazy susan can prevent you from having to reach back to grab a heavy item. We like these iDesign models from Amazon.
  • Check the force needed to open the door: If a door is too heavy to open, it can cause hand and forearm injuries. (Freezer doors in particular can be vacuum-sealed to the point that they’re nearly unopenable.) Some manufacturers like Sub-Zero sell aftermarket devices that enable you to push the door in to open it. If you like your current refrigerator, reach out to the manufacturer to see if something like this is available for installation.
  • Explore new smart fridge models: If you’re buying a new refrigerator, some of the newer high-tech models like LG’s new InstaView smart refrigerator collection allow you to use a voice command to open the fridge.
older woman with curly grey hair looking at kitchen cabinet


  • Make sure the most-used items are easy to reach: Bowls, plates, and cups should be easily accessible – not too high or too low. No daily items should require having to get up on a chair or step stool.
  • Install pull-out cabinets and add a lazy susan: One inexpensive option is LYNK Professional Slide Out Cabinets. For a full, custom cabinet organizer, we love Reform’s IKEA-compatible option. You can also add a lazy susan to your cabinets.
  • Add labels for anyone with memory impairment: For older adults struggling with memory impairment who love to cook, use a label maker to mark what each cabinet and drawer holds. You can also use sticker decals with kitchen items.
  • Keep a step stool and grabber nearby: Keep a step stool with a built-in handle nearby, like this model from DMI. It’s also good to have a grabber tool like this one from Saymeto.
  • Add lighting to cabinets: To increase visibility, add motion sensor lighting inside and under cabinets, like this set from LEPOTEC.

Stovetop & Oven

  • Consider an electric stove: Leaving pots and pans on a lit stove is a major cause of household fires, especially in people with memory loss. Electric stoves are recommended over gas stoves because of fire risk. It’s important to note that there is still a fire risk with an electric stove, but some can be programmed to shut off automatically.
  • Look into smart stoves: We like this Smart Slide-In Electric Range. It can be connected to Alexa to use with voice commands, and monitored and activated or deactivated by a smartphone.
  • Add burners that turn off automatically: If you’re not on the market for a new stove, we recommend adding Ome Kitchen burners to your existing stove – they automatically shut off burners that are left on. A less expensive alternative is BurnerAlert, which beeps when a stove has been left on and also connects to Alexa.

Other Appliances

  • Look for intuitive microwaves & toasters: We recommend placing both somewhere within reach on the counter. Our favorite microwave is the Breville Compact Wave™ Soft Close 0.9 Cu. Ft. Microwave thanks to its intuitive, straightforward design. Our toaster pick is the Breville Toast Select™ Luxe 2-Slice Toaster, which is easy to use and a favorite amongst chefs.
  • Examine the dishwasher height: If possible, we recommend getting your dishwasher installed higher than the standard installation height to make it easier to reach. Ideally, it would be between waist and shoulder height so it’s easy to open and close.
  • Find an easy, automatic coffee machine: You can’t go wrong with the ease of the Keurig or Nespresso. For something more barista-inspired, we like the Terra Kaffe TK-01 machine, which is easy to use and beloved by fans. And for the ultra-discerning coffee drinker, Jura machines are top of the line. The Z10 has easy-to-see buttons that whip up a latte, cappuccino, and more.

Sink & Countertops

  • Look for a shallow sink: A shallow sink (6-8 inches) avoids having to bend down. The ideal position for the sink is next to the stove and oven. A touchless faucet, like this Moen model, can be a good option for those with memory impairment.
  • Keep countertops uncluttered: Countertops should be kept as clean as possible so that it’s easy to get to exactly what you need.
  • Consider light-colored countertops of varying heights: Light-colored countertops make it easier to see objects on them. It’s good to have countertops of varying heights to provide different surfaces to hold on to. While most materials can work, Vinyl is easy for its water resistance and easiness to clean.
  • Avoid sharp edges: If possible, install countertops with rounded corners instead of pointed corners to help prevent accidentally bumping into a sharp edge. You can also add countertop corner bumpers.


  • Look into glass alternatives: Plastic or melamine dishware can often be easier than porcelain or glass; they’re shatter-proof and durable. You can find beautiful plastic dishware by looking in the “outdoor” section of your favorite kitchenware store. Juliska makes some of our favorite BPA-free sets.
  • Use non-slip material under cutting boards or mixing bowls: To help keep items in place, you can place a grip shelf liner like this Smart Design Shelf Liner underneath.

Kitchen Items

older woman with curly grey hair looking down at green kitchen glove