Independent living is an important part of any care home. Here’s how a satellite space can help your residents find freedom in the kitchen, without impacting on your team.
Independent living is an important part of any care home. Whether you are running a home for younger people with learning or mobility difficulties, or providing elderly care, every resident wants to feel some sense of independence in their home.
The importance of independence In elderly care, it can be a particularly important factor for decision makers, especially those with relatives who may be largely independent at present, but suffering from conditions that will gradually impact more on their everyday life.
For young residents, too, independence is paramount – freedom is a fundamental part of growing up and, for those in care facilities, finding that sense of autonomy isn’t always easy.
Nor is it easy for care home managers to provide this freedom, even when they want to. Safety and security must always be paramount in any care facility, and even when it comes to something as simple as installing tea making facilities, finding a solution that is both safe and practical can be difficult.
A flexible solution Satellite kitchens are a popular solution for many care homes. Separate from the main kitchen, a satellite kitchen is usually located in an open plan communal area, but could also be situated in a separate room with a lockable door.
What is a satellite kitchen? Usually consisting of a work area, a refrigerator, kettles and other basic kitchen equipment, these kitchens allow residents to take care of simple tasks themselves. Residents are free to make tea and coffee, or put together a simple snack, without the health and safety implications of doing so in the main kitchen area (where meals are prepared).
These kitchens are not without their difficulties: supervision, safety, cleaning and maintenance can cause problems for care home managers. However, with a semi-commercial kitchen from Steelplan, your satellite kitchen needn’t be a cause for concern.
Supervision and safety If supervision and safety are a concern, install cabinets and drawers with CAM locks. Built into the steel frame of a Steelplan kitchen, these locks are more secure than any lock retrofitted to a domestic kitchen, and much longer lasting.
If the area is ever left completely unsupervised, simply store any dangerous equipment – such as tea kettles and sharp knives – in the lockable cupboards. You could even have set hours every day that the kitchen area is open for use: it can still help with that valuable sense of independence, without putting too much strain on your team.
Cleaning and maintenance A satellite kitchen tends to become a hub of activity, and as such receives more than its fair share of wear and tear. A domestic model – like those from B&Q or Wickes – never lasts long in this setting and can quickly become a health hazard, especially as porous materials like MDF can soak up spills and harbour bacteria. A commercial model, meanwhile, looks out of place in the comfortable environment you have created for your residents.
A semi-commercial kitchen provides the best of both worlds. Its durable steel frame can withstand the wear and tear of a busy home, while powder-coated steel doors are available in a range of colours and finishes that won’t look out of place. What’s more, they are easy to keep hygienically clean and stain free.
At Steelplan Kitchens, our experts have delivered bespoke semi-commercial solutions for care homes for over 30 years, fitting flexible satellite kitchens in residential homes across the UK. To find out more about Steelplan Kitchens, call us on 0844 809 9186.