Accessing your kitchen at any age

June 21, 2010 at 9:01 am 1 comment

As Occupational Therapists we are taught development and the aging process. Our science-driven background and evidence-based practice give us the knowledge regarding the impact of aging and health on the environment. Blum, a company with innovative kitchen products, utilizes the Age Explorer to analyze how their kitchens will age in place with the consumers that utilize them.

The Age Explorer is a suit that is worn to mimic the signs of aging. From extra weights that are placed at the joints, gloves that limit the use of your hands to demonstrate arthritis and dampened sensation, to a helmet and headphones that occlude the user’s vision and hearing.

Blum incorporates multiple features into their products to allow for aging in place. They have the Servo-Drive, which is an “opening support system” that allows for minimal pressure to open a cabinet, despite the weight of the items inside. This feature also allows for hands-free opening, with just a gentle bump of a leg or side of the arm to activate the system. To complete the process, the cabinets and drawers also have a “silent and effortless closing”.

The drawers are all pull-out systems with full extension to allow access to all contained items. The company also offers a hinge system that allows for the cabinet doors to be opened to the widest possible angle to allow for easy, increased access. Lastly, to maximize efficiency and organization, Blum offers Orga-Line, which is an inner dividing system that is customizable to the contents of the drawer or cabinet.

Blum’s products are a means to decrease the physical demands of accessing items within the kitchen. They are setting a precedent by taking their product design one step further with the Age Explorer analysis. The features in these products are integrated into the design and allow for flexibility of use with consideration to the aging process.

Check out their Dynamic Space and let me know what you think.


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Entry filed under: Aging-In-Place design, Kitchen products. Tags: , , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. roberta  |  May 10, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Great post. It really explains the suite and how it works. And the Servo-Drive is fabulous.

    Reply

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