In the kitchens, several menus are prepared every day to be enjoyed by the family. It is – perhaps – the place we use most at home, where we spend more time and share, as well as special moments.
However, when referring to wheelchair-adapted kitchens, some modifications must be considered to allow easy access and movement.
The kitchens adapted for wheelchairs have well-defined characteristics such as
- Location of the furniture
This guarantees the safety, comfort and independence of people in wheelchairs.
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How to design wheelchair-friendly kitchens
The design of wheelchair-adapted kitchens is based on organisation and distribution.
This offers people in wheelchairs the possibility of carrying out various activities with the reach, and control, necessary to handle and transport food, utensils or objects without inconvenience.
Adapted kitchens are divided into zones or work areas, which allow defined tasks to be carried out simultaneously.
This division consists of four zones or areas:
- Sink area: where the dishes are washed
- Worktop area: place to prepare food
- Kitchen area: space for cooking food
- Refrigerator area: food preservation sites
It is important that the design of adapted kitchens is done in an L or U shape.
In this way, people in wheelchairs can have an overview of the entire space, it is easier to move around the entire sector and access each of the areas of the kitchen.
Other safety aspects to consider in the design of wheelchair-accessible kitchens are as follows:
- Make sure the edges of the furniture are rounded, this way accidents are avoided
- Use sliding or hinged doors that do not reduce the space in the kitchen
- Use large controls to operate the appliances
- Install the oven and microwave at the eye level of the person using the wheelchair, this way you can see the inside of the appliances and the handling of hot food is facilitated
Basic advice when reforming an accessible kitchen
When refurbishing a wheelchair-adapted kitchen, the most important thing is to provide comfort and safety for the person in the wheelchair, making sure that everything they need is within reach.
These are some of the tips to consider when reforming an accessible kitchen:
- We recommend the use of continuous floors and anti-slip flooring, avoiding at all times the use of steps or unevenness
- Choose easy-to-hold door handles that can be opened – even with the handle
- Install dishwasher with shallow drain and long handle single-lever faucet, as they are easier to reach and manoeuvre
- Use of induction cookers with automatic locking and power cut to minimize the risk of accidents
- Install stone or high-strength material worktops, where it is not a problem to place hot containers
Measurements, the most important aspect in fitted kitchens
Measurements are the most important aspect in adapted kitchens, considering the height and depth of the furniture represents not only a guarantee of safety, but also the possibility of moving around the kitchen without limitations.
The height can be modified according to the needs of the user, guaranteeing access to the elements needed without inconvenience.
Here we share the measures recommended for an adapted kitchen:
- Access: the width of the access door should not be less than 80 cm, thus ensuring the passage of a person in a wheelchair
- Circulation: there should be a free space of 150 cm between the furniture and the kitchen
Approach and range
- The recommended height of the worktops, for those in wheelchairs, is between 75 and 80 cm
- The depth of the worktop is 60 cm
- The height of cabinets and drawers will be between 40 and 140 cm
- The front approach for use in the kitchen, to facilitate movement in a wheelchair, should be at least 80 cm wide, 70 cm high and 60 cm deep
- The lateral approach with doors and drawers will be 80 cm wide and 150 cm deep
These measures ensure that people in wheelchairs can move around easily in the kitchen, reaching any object, appliance or piece of furniture.
Appliances and equipment
The work areas are designed according to the needs of each user.
Appliances and equipment shall be placed in a location that provides for the measures recommended by the manufacturer, both for insurance and user safety.
Everyday utensils and materials for preparing and serving food should be placed at an easily accessible distance and height. This way, someone in a wheelchair will not have any limitations when cooking.
It is important to have a free space designated for food preparation from the kitchen area, where pots, pans and plates can be placed after removal from the fire, without danger of burning the surface.
A good solution when organizing the space of an adapted kitchen is to place the appliances integrated into the kitchen. In this way, the person who uses a wheelchair will be able to have free space for his or her legs.
As for the refrigerator, it is recommended to use a model with an automatic defrosting system.
The best option when deciding on a dishwasher should be a model that is installed on the work surface near the sink and drain.
To see inside, shelves and drawers must be transparent with an opening of 180° and have a separation from the floor of 30 cm.
Furniture and storage in fitted kitchens
An accessible kitchen has special characteristics that cover the needs of its wheelchair users, under regulated measures to offer the appropriate furniture and storage.
As we said before, among the kitchen areas we have the worktop, sink and refrigerator.
Among these elements, the recommended measurements are from 3.60 m to 6.60 m and the distance between the worktop and the sink from 1.20 m to 2 m.
In this regard, it is important to emphasize that elements in the form of a triangle that can serve as a barrier to free mobilization will never be included.
A design for a corner adapted kitchen also allows a person in a wheelchair to move more easily between different areas of the kitchen.
In terms of storage, the use of removable furniture is another option that can be used when adapting a kitchen.
Safe objects for fitted kitchens
The adapted kitchens have very strict safety measures that allow the free use of any person with reduced mobility.
To contribute in these situations, Monouso has ideal utensils to be used in kitchens where safety is as important as the dish being cooked.
In our plastic plate section, you will find the hard plate lines. Beautiful plastic models manufactured with materials that make them very resistant, to the point of being considered unbreakable.
In addition, we have a section of plastic cups, made from the same material as the hard plates. Real functional jewels that can be washed in the dishwasher without inconvenience.
Reusable cups are made of the same material, elements with unique characteristics that make them very safe under all circumstances.
Visit our online shop and discover the products – of superior quality – that we have to contribute with the equipment of wheelchair-adapted kitchens.