Age friendly kitchens: a study based on social history and ergonomics
conference contributionposted on 02.03.2011, 10:49 by Martin Maguire, Colette Nicolle, Russell Marshall, Ruth Sims, Clare Lawton, S. Peace, J. Percival
The kitchen is an important space in the home serving many purposes both functional and social. The need was identified to chart social changes experienced by older people in relation to the kitchen and to understand current issues and problems of kitchen usage. Two interviews were conducted with 40 older participants (aged between 61 and 91) living in a variety of British housing types in Loughborough and Bristol. The first interview recorded their experience of the kitchen throughout their lives, and the second on the contemporary kitchen and how well it meets their needs. This paper focuses on the second interview. It was found that problems of reaching, bending and stretching, dexterity and sight were all relatively common while for specific tasks, problems with ironing, cleaning and shopping were the most frequent. Categorisation of participants’ likes and dislikes about their kitchens were recorded highlighting the most important issues for the participants. The paper reports on coping strategies used by older people in their kitchens which help to promote inclusive design social inclusion throughout the life course.