As we age, our ability to see diminishes overtime making it more difficult to perform daily routines. In some instances, there are individuals that have been severely affected by their vision loss. Thus, being unable to live both safely and independently while at home.

The “New York City Housing Stock” has come of age and most of it was built before the American Disability Act became a reality. The majority of houses and apartments in the New York City area do not provide suitable living conditions for seniors and individuals with visual impairments. In the next series of blogs, we will briefly discuss how “lighting” and “contrast” can be used to adapt the home environment for individuals with low vision in order to make it safer and user-friendly. One prevalent issue in most consumers’ homes is the lack of contrast in their kitchens. I am always confronted with the “typical” white walls, light colored countertops, and white/ natural wood colored cabinets… I am sure you get the picture. The following suggestions will improve safety and functionality in the kitchen area:

1. Create a contrast between glassware and cookware utilized in the kitchen and the backsplash wall.

2. Stick to solid colors and avoid patterns.

3. Use combination lighting and avoid overhead fixtures.

4. Create color contrast between the floors, walls, and cabinetry.

5. Avoid materials or surfaces that readily reflect the light source causing glare.


Miller Calberto, MS, OTR/L, CAPS
Senior partner
Adapting Spaces, LLC

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