Age-Friendly Kitchen and Bath
Age-Friendly Kitchen and Bath
August 8, 2022
Geeta Kewalramani, Founder, Kimaya Designs makes a strong case for incorporating the principles of Aging in Place design while designing kitchens and baths for the elderly.
The elderly population in India crossed the 100 million mark in 2011. It now constitutes 8% of the population. This is as per the Government of India MOSPI - Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation – “Elderly People in India 2016” Report. This elderly population is projected to touch 194 million in 2031 from 138 million in 2021, a 41% increase over a decade, according to the National Statistical Office (NSO)’s "Elderly in India 2021" report.
As per HelpAge India Report & the United Nations Fund Report, while Overall population growth is estimated to be 40%-50% by the year 2050, the population of those aged 60 and above will increase by 270%-300%. This rapidly increasing number of elderly will make up a fifth of the population at 20% by the middle of the century. That means one out of every 5 individuals will be an elderly person. So, our world is ageing.
Universal Kitchen design just like any kitchen design begins with getting to know your client and their home and understanding their needs and providing solutions. Photo Courtesy: Collov Home Design on Unsplash
Challenges with ageing
Some of the challenges they may experience are broadly classified as Psychological, Physical and Disability related. The psychological challenge in terms of the need for social acceptance and interaction, the need for independence and the need for self-esteem & dignity of life - be able to take care of their personal activities of daily living safely and easily.
Physical & disability-related challenges and changes a person may experience as they age, vary from person to person. Physical & disability-related issues could be normal ageing issues, progressive or other medical conditions that may have developed or could be trauma-related changes like an injury in an accident. Some of the most common normal ageing-related physical issues could be related to vision, hearing, balance, muscle strength & dexterity. Disability experienced could be short-term or it could be long-term.
Can we help them maximise their quality of life and longevity? Can we empower the elderly of today and of the future, live a fuller life? Are we building homes to accommodate the present & future needs of safety and comfort as people mature?
"Aging-In-Place Design or inclusive design is a comprehensive concept. It begins from the outside of your home to the inside. Some of the basic features include and begin with the entrance - A zero-step entry, 36" wide doorways, light switches to be located no more than 48" high, grab bars in bathrooms, non-skid flooring in kitchens and baths, and proper lighting that could benefit everyone at any age."
What’s Aging-in-Place design?
Ageing-in-Place design helps us understand those factors and create enabling homes. Ageing in Place Design is about applying a sensible and conscious design approach to creating user-friendly and age-friendly spaces. Ageing in place is defined as 'remaining in one’s home safely, independently and comfortably regardless of age, income or ability level.' It is about creating safe, comfortable and inspiring living spaces.
Ageing in Place Design encompasses 4 categories of Design for comfort, safety and convenience in living i.e. Universal, Adaptable, Accessible and Visitable Design. Universal Design is a term coined by Ron Mace and is defined as “the design of products and environments to be usable by all people to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialised design”
Ageing-in-Place design helps us understand those factors and create enabling homes. Photo Courtesy: Charlesdeluvio on Unsplash