Tuesday, September 24, 2013

AT Home in the Kitchen

By Bobbette Cantrell

Bobbette standing in front of refridgerator pulling out a tray of creamers from the top shelf
Bobbette using cookie sheets to pull items out of her fridge
My kitchen is not like most.  

Because I have had Rheumatoid Arthritis for over 30 years, I use every day tools and supplies to make my life much easier. As a person who has always been independent, I decided that I could do the same kitchen tasks as a person without a disability, but with slight modifications and good old ingenuity. 

For example, I have found a way to reach into my refrigerator and pick up the items I need. By placing several cookie sheets and trays on the refrigerator shelves I can easily reach food and beverages. When I need something, I just pull a cookie sheet toward me and pick up the item. This simple change has saved my shoulders, arms and hands from straining, and most importantly, I don't drop anything! 

wooden dowel with a hook on the end grabbing a coffee cup out of a cupboard
Wooden dowel with hook
Another handy item I use is a tool I made myself. It's a simple dowel (I’ve made several in various lengths) with a small hook at the end of it. With this woman-made tool, I'm able to reach into high cupboards and retrieve coffee cups, spices, small glasses, pots and other things. Sometimes I use a reacher to finish the task.

I also rely on an electric can opener as well as simple jar and bottle openers. Using them has made it so I don’t have to find a family member or neighbor when I want to dig into my canned goods.

With just a few changes in my kitchen, I continue to enjoy cooking. 
Have you made any modifications to your kitchen to make cooking easier? Leave your ideas in the “Comments” section below.

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