Baby boomers are updating their homes preparing for the challenges of aging or for wheelchair accessibility. With proper planning, implementing Universal Design standards provides accessibility for everyone.
- Work with a kitchen and bath planner who is familiar with Universal Design and Americans with Disabilities (ADA) guidelines for wheelchair accessibility.
- Allow for floor space between countertops. Space should range from 48 to 60 inches for wheelchairs.
- Install cabinetry at multiple heights to accommodate everyone.
- Choose base cabinets with a higher, deeper toe kick to accommodate wheelchairs.
- Base cabinets with drawers provides easy access and reduces bending.
- Add easy access storage features to cabinetry such as roll-out or pull-out trays and rotating shelves.
- Look for appliances with accessible front controls.
- Install the microwave in a base cabinet.
- Install a lower sink with open space underneath.
- Insulate exposed pipes for safety.
- Install an adjustable-height sink that can raise and lower at the push of a button.
- Raise or lower appliances such as dishwashers, cooktops or wall ovens to accommodate user heights.
- Choose a side-by-side refrigerator or with a freezer on the bottom.