Occupational Therapy Advice and Information

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Kitchen Design and Layout:Info Icon

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When designing a kitchen everyone always has an interest in creating a personal work space that responds to their particular needs. This is exactly the same for people with disabilities except that considerations for any modifications need to consider accessibility for all Users, especially if there is going to be more than one person using the kitchen facilities. It is impossible to make the most of a person’s abilities in a badly designed kitchen.

The most important thing to consider when planning kitchen areas and fittings is the need to bring food preparation areas, cooking areas and appliances within easy reach of someone with a disability.

Units and equipment should be easy to use and arranged to minimise the need for manoeuvre. In particular the height, depth and amount of clear space below work surfaces can affect how far a person in a seated position/wheelchair can reach and can have a major impact on how easy it is for them to use the kitchen.

An efficient layout and logical work sequence goes a long way towards minimising the difficulties of balancing, moving, lifting and carrying, reaching, stooping and handling. Often problems occur when the kitchen design and layout has been badly planned and the result is that too much lifting and carrying between facilities is required or that the worktops are too high and the User is unable to reach across to use the facilities.

Problems that may arise can include the following: -

  • Worktops too high/too low/too deep
  • Unable to reach plug sockets
  • Unable to turn taps on and off
  • Unable to reach food stuffs at the back of the cupboards
  • Wall Units too high
  • Unable to lift casseroles/roasting tins/meals in and out of the existing oven
  • Unable to use the hob because access is a problem
  • Unable to use the sink because access is a problem
  • Problems with moving equipment around the kitchen because there is no continuous worktop

This list is not exhaustive but if You would like some advice and information then please ring or contact Able 2 OT Services via this website who will be happy to help.

I am having problems with issues and would like some further advice and information

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