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December 4th, 2004
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What internists need to know bout postpolio syndrome
Living With Chronic Illness Builds Courage
Using Your Body Efficiently
The Three Types of Polio
Make a Place for Your Illness and Put It in Its Place
Creating a User-Friendly Kitchen
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CREATING A USER-FRIENDLY KITCHEN
Grace R. Young, MA, OTR

Preparing and cleaning up after meals takes a lot of time and energy and has to be done repeatedly. It really helps to organize your kitchen so it is user-friendly.

STORAGE

  • Keep frequently used items stored at a height between the hips and the lips. This avoids unnecessary bending or reaching.
  • It seems like whatever you need is always on the bottom or at the back, so store dishes in stacks of their own kind. Do not put small saucers on top of big ones, or small bowls inside of larger bowls. Purchase vinyl-coated wire racks for stacking same-size dishes.
  • Stack pots and skillets one layer deep, so you do not have to lift the top items to get at at the bottom one. Mail order houses and kitchen specialty shops offer racks for either horizontal or vertical storage of individual skillets or pans.
  • If your pantry shelves are deep enough to hold more than one layer, make the second (and third) layer the same as the first. That means you put a can of peaches behind another can of peaches but not behind a can of tomatoes. This way you can see all your supplies at a glance and won't have to pull out objects to get what you want.
  • Use Rubbermaid Susan’s for storing condiments in your kitchen cupboards. I have a two shelf lazy susan for small container items like spices and a one shelf lazy susan for taller items like cooking spray, etc. Frequently used items are on the lowest shelf of the cupboard and lesser used items are up higher. A reacher comes in handy for the higher items.
  • One and two level sliding racks, bins, baskets, and shelf trays make base cabinets usable for cleaning supplies, food staples cookware, etc, and bring objects within easy reach.
  • Have a handyman put your lower kitchen drawers on rollers.
  • Utilize stacking storage bins on wheels for potatoes, onions, etc.
  • Wire shelf units can be attached to the backs of pantry doors to hold boxes, cans and bottles.
  • An angled mirror installed against the wall in back of the stove allows you to see what is cooking on the back burners while you are seated.

STREAMLINE YOUR WORK

  • Store equipment close to the area of first use. For instance, saucepans are usually used first at the sink because you put water in them before taking them to the stove.
  • Do not put away the most frequently used pans, skillets or dishes. After each use, wash and let pots dry on top of the stove and let the dishes drain in a rack.
  • Use lightweight dishes such as Corelle. Stoneware is pretty but too heavy.
  • Use non-stick skillets and pans.
  • Take advantage of dishes that can he used for cooking, serving and storing (such as Corningware). They cut down on many steps as well as dishwashing.
  • An electric knife carves many things besides turkeys and roasts. Use it to slice hard cheese, fruits and vegetables, etc. Keep the knife in a bracket on the wall so it is always ready to use.
  • Use a mini food processor to prepare vegetables. Large food processors require too much clean-up.
  • Chop vegetables with a jar chopper which cuts with pressure from the palm.
  • The one-handed cordless can opener by Black and Decker is very lightweight and requires no pressure to operate once the cutter has been activated.
  • Use a sharp linoleum knife to open cereal boxes. Hold it like a dagger with the blade pointing down and your thumb at the top.
  • Prepare double recipes and freeze half for use at another time.
Polio Facts:
Polio is caused by any one of three Polio viruses.

Polio is a very contagious virus.

Continued >>
Poliomyelitis-
Post Polio Syndrome

1580 – 1350 BC – The priest Ruma with a withered leg and equinus foot – shown on a plaque and probably poliomyelitis.

 
 
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