Designers and manufacturers for kitchen furniture is being taken towards a new direction as the industry is being reminded on creating a design that accomodates the needs of older people. Kitchen cabinets and cupboard often brings a challenge for the older ones as they have to reach on higher places to get the appliances. As people grow older, the body becomes weaken. A special research called ‘Transitions in Kitchen Living’ brings a solid evidences on this matter, as it urges kitchen furniture industry to become aware of the issues.
The research was funded by Economic and Social Research Council with its New Dynamics of Ageing Programme. It was conducted by interviewing 48 people between the age of 60 to 90, who are living in different types of housing. Among these older people, more than half of them mentioned difficulties to reach things on high kitchen cabinets. The result of the research was like a wake up alarm for manufacturers and designers of kitchen cabinets. It should help the industry to take a different step on the design.
There are several kitchen specialists who focus their kitchen cabinets design to accomodate the special needs of older people. The design is made at the right size. The height of the cabinet is made to suit their physical strength. However, only having small numbers of kitchen specialists is not enough. Mainstream suppliers of kitchen cabinet should have the same awareness. Kitchen cabinet for older people can be a promising market. It would be potential market if mainstream suppliers can provide kitchen cabinet with the design that suits for older people. Once people retired, they might be keen on changing their house, and it’s obvious for them to replace kitchen cabinet and furniture for their convenience in the kitchen. Small change of the design of kitchen cabinet can be important for users of different ages, but specially for older people.