Adaptability of Kitchen Furniture for Elderly People in Terms of Safety
Research subject and fields:
The number of senior citizens is rapidly increasing, which consequently signifi es an increase in the number of people having sight, hearing or memory diffi culties, people with hampered mobility, and people who find it increasingly diffi cult to process information. Elderly persons experience a greater degree of risk whilst performing daily tasks in their kitchens. Moreover, they are more susceptible to infection and illnesses, necessitating greater care to achieve hygienic conditions within their kitchens. The goal of our research was to determine whether people are generally content with the functionality of their kitchens and whether the degree of dissatisfaction increases with the age of the users. The study aims to pinpoint any major problems facing elderly people whilst working in their kitchens and to establish criteria for kitchen furniture design that could be tailored to senior users’ interests, with the focus on safety. This research was carried out via individual surveys at the respondents’ homes. 204 respondents participated in the research. The results show that most users do not realize that, with more appropriate kitchen equipment, they could perform daily tasks faster, safer, and with less effort. Common shortcomings include insuffi cient lighting (32 %), inappropriate sequential composition of work surfaces (56 %), ease of hygiene maintenance (68 %), inappropriately - shaped furniture (72 %), and tasks that become troublesome because of declining memory (75 %). We believe that it is necessary to design kitchen equipment specifically adjusted for the needs of the elderly.