Adapted kitchens should meet the needs of someone with mobility problems, which include the elderly and wheelchair users. However, it is often the case that when living with family, the design of the kitchen should revolve around more than one person and ensure that it is a functioning space for everyone.

Kitchen manufacturers are recognising the needs of people with disabilities whether living independently or with family members and as such, are now able to provide customers with a growing range of adapted kitchens.

Typical features of adapted kitchens include the following:

- Alternative working heights (Kitchen accommodates all users)

- Wall mounted units (Allows wheelchair users foot room)

- Adjustable shelving (to enable positioning of the oven and fridge at a convenient working height)

- Shallow sink bowels (providing sufficient knee room underneath for a wheelchair user)

- Taps with infra-red controls (eradicating the need to turn an awkward knob or pull a lever)

- Kitchen appliances (controls located at the front and doors that open sideways, both for convenient and safe access)

A person with reduced mobility would perhaps consider a corridor-style kitchen which allows someone to use  the working tops for support. Additional handrails can be installed along the sides of the worktops and could provide a place to hang a walking stick or another type of mobility aid.

Small adjustments like replacing the type of kitchen door and drawer handles and infra-red taps may help a reduced grip sufferer.

A person using a wheelchair generally requires comfortable manoeuvring space but this depends on the size and type of wheelchair. Perhaps a minimalistic kitchen with more open space or a U-Shape kitchen would be ideal.

Existing cupboards and other kitchen units can have a pull down mechanism attached, which means that wheelchair users can reach storage space that would otherwise be inaccessible.
There are all sorts of useful extras, such as pull out ironing boards, work surfaces and storage bins. Height adjustable units may be electrically, hydraulically or manually powered, such as the Activemotion range by AKW, which was featured at both Naidex and Naidex Scotland this year. However, it is usually much more expensive to install a specially adapted kitchen in an existing home, than to have one installed at the construction stage in a new property.


By tailoring a specific design to the individual, adapted kitchens are now even more accessible than before. Families can function together without barriers; adaptations carried out can be integrated in such way that it retains an aesthetically pleasing look without compromising functionality and purpose.

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Saw an article in Clydebank Post re funding for improvements for disabled people's houses. I fall in to this category and was especially interested in the height ajustable kitchen units. Can you give me more information on this please?

Thanks, James.

Hi James

There is also a video of AKW kitchens with rise and fall units that may help you. click on the link below 

AKW Kitchens




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