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Determination of Domestic Kitchen Characteristics for Elderly Turkish Women: A Comprehensive Ergonomics Approach

Besim Türker Özalp
Open Journal of Safety Science and Technology , Volume 10, pp 53-67; doi:10.4236/ojsst.2020.102005

Abstract: Objective: The paper aimed to present a layout of the kitchen for elderly Turkish women to assure their safety and comfort while executing their tasks in their kitchen. Background: It is appropriate to regard the domestic kitchen used by an elderly woman as her workplace, requiring application of the ergonomics principles such as environmental conditions, equipment design and workplace layout on the kitchen floor. The purpose is to enable them to perform activities in the kitchen comfortably, safely and without assistance. Ergonomic design takes into account the abilities and limitations due to aging and helps to create the best person-environment fit. Proper design can help all people in all age groups but is particularly important for elderly individuals. Safety, physical and social health must be taken into consideration to increase the quality of elderly Turkish women’s lives. Method: The general layout of the kitchen was designed considering the work triangle, to minimize the walking distance in regard of the work sequence. The required functional anthropometric data for elderly Turkish women were obtained by ratio scaling method using the raw data from previous work. Results: The design of cabinets, worktops, base units, storage areas and their lay-out with kitchen appliances were realized to ensure comfort and safety for the elderly Turkish women. A U-shaped kitchen is found appropriate allowing the elderly woman and her company working together. For the counter, the height of the worktop is found as 860 mm from the floor and a 20 mm thick and 620 mm wide granite block is chosen. Placement of wall cupboards is achieved by considering the vertical grip reach of elderly Turkish women (5%) and the height of each shelf from the floor is determined. Conclusion: The absence of housing standard definitions addressing accessibility of the elderly is an ongoing problem in Turkey. This work presents potential solutions to improve the living standards of the elderly Turkish women.
Keywords: Kitchen Design / Elderly Women / Workspace / Slips and Falls / Anthropometric Measurements / Turkey

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