Inclusive design kitchens are kitchens that built with an increasingly elderly population in mind. Inclusive kitchens are designed to adapt to your needs as you grow older. They allow you and your family to continue to enjoy your home for longer, without needing to move into assisted living accommodation or care homes.
Inclusive design can also be used to adapt an already fitted kitchen to accommodate wheelchairs and other mobility aids. Features such as fold-away oven doors, support handles and specially designed drawer handles enable you to continue to enjoy using your kitchen as you get older.
Here at KNB, we have been designing and fitting kitchens for over 30 years. So, if you are looking for an inclusive or adaptive kitchen that you can enjoy no matter what happens, get in touch.
Here are just a few things we consider when designing an inclusive kitchen.
Range of Motion
When designing kitchens for people with limited range of motion, it’s important to consider the following:
- Counter height: Make it the right height for the person using it not just the standard height.
- Roll under sinks: Sinks can have a space left underneath so someone in a wheelchair can use it.
- Pull out shelves: Adding pull out shelves on lower cabinets can decrease strain and bending.
- Pull down shelves: Adding pull down shelves on upper cabinets can help reduce reaching and make items easier to access.
As we get older, our dexterity can become compromised by conditions such as arthritis. When designing for someone with limited dexterity, bigger is better.
- Large buttons: Make sure all appliances have large buttons for ease of use.
- D shaped drawer pulls: Knobs can be hard to grasp but large D shaped handles are easy to operate.
- Lever handled faucets: Use lever handle faucets, they are easier to use with arthritis or limited movement.
- Anti-scald device: This is a device that will turn off a tap it the water gets too hot.
Mobility aids need a little more space, so it’s important to design a kitchen that’s as accessible as possible. We also take into consideration kitchen access, so we remove potential trip hazards.
- One handed appliances and accessories: Look for things that can be operated with one hand so users can still hold onto counters or mobility devices.
- Door storage: Look for refrigerators with door storage as this is easiest to get to.
- Bottom freezers: Bottom mounted freezers are easier to access from a wheelchair.
- Good lighting: Make sure there is good lighting in the kitchen and even refrigerator to compensate for poor sight and prevent tripping.
- Long door handles: A long handle provides multiple places to grip which makes opening doors or a refrigerator easier.
At KNB, we can design a kitchen that you can continue to enjoy for years. In a country with an increasingly aging population, it’s a sensible investment to design with long term living in mind.
To find out more about our kitchen design services, or for a quote, get in touch today.