Accessibility August 28, 2019
Cooking from a wheelchair is easy if you follow these tips!
People using wheelchairs or mobility related challenges are not encouraged to explore their culinary skills by family members as they tend to get worried about accidents or falls. That does not have to be the case though if you follow some tips.
Thanks to services like Swiggy and Zomato or ready to cook food products, cooking does not have to be a chore in today’s busy times. There are many of us who like to cook occasionally even in the midst of a busy workday as it feels therapeutic. People who use wheelchairs or have mobility challenges typically tend to be discouraged from exploring this side.
That does not have to be the case if you keep some things in mind. For starters make your kitchen accessible as per your needs. So keep, everything within reach. There are many kitchen tools that make some jobs easier for you too. Check out the Koryo range featured below to know more. These include appliances like vegetable choppers, electric kettles, etc.
Srilatha, who lives in Bengaluru, is a wheelchair user working with a private company. Her hours are long and erratic and cooking is not something she gets time for often. She ensures she eats well and nutritiously. We asked her how she does that!
I think planning is the most important thing. Since I have a busy schedule, most of my planning on how to cook for the day is done when I am on my back from office. I stay in a rented place and the kitchen is not designed for me. So, I make sure to keep things at places that are accessible, especially when my family members are not around. Thankfully, my mother has trained me on how to use a kitchen. –Srilatha, wheelchair user.
Like Srilatha, you could look at doing some of these things to make cooking accessible for you:
- Organise yourself – Plan your kitchen such that you can find things easily. For instance your knives and chopping boards should be side by side so you can accesss them with ease.
- Take breaks occasionally– Working inside the kitchen for long stretches can get exhausting in the heat. So take small breaks and leave the room. Ask someone to keep an eye on what you are cooking if you can.
- Leave space to move around – Avoid having too many tables or shelves and try and organise appliances on the counter so you can move around in your wheelchair easily. Set up cupboards that slide out and push in.
- Enjoy the process -Research shows that cooking is therapeutic, even healing. Learning new recipes feels joyful.
Veena Venugopal from Kerala says planning is key. “Before my disability, I could access my kitchen. But things have changed now. I am slowly getting into the process and it is a great feeling. Usually, I sit with my mother inside the kitchen to help her chop vegetables and so on. So whatever little work it is, I try and do it”.
Remember, everyone has their own pace so start with the small things and build your skills.
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