Caredesign, a division of Enware Australia , is a supplier of demonstration products in the Age Friendly Home.
Kitchen cupboards and benchtop that electrically adjust to a person’s height and position have been installed at the Baptist Community Services’ Age Friendly Home at Marsfield in Sydney’s North West.
Pressalit Care’s Indivo system was contributed by Caredesign to enhance the comfort and safety of older people or those with disabilities, showing how they can continue to live in their own homes.
The lifts, contained within telescopic legs and behind cupboard fittings, enable people of different stature and physical capabilities to adjust the height of the Pressalit Care-actuated worktops and cupboards so they can carry out as many functions as possible without assistance.
In the Age Friendly Home (formerly called the Smart House), the above-bench kitchen cupboards move diagonally, both forward and down, as much as 400mm towards a user, while the benchtop will lower to the level of a seated user.
The demonstration home is an average suburban residence that has been renovated to be age, dementia and disability friendly through innovative living enhancements. It acts as a research laboratory and test ground for trialling the new care technologies.
Caredesign is a supplier of demonstration products in the Age Friendly Home that are designed to give independence to users.
Other products on show include electronic security, ramp access, widened doorways and hallways, easily opened refrigerator and oven doors, drawer-style dishwasher, bench height oven, cleanable sofa, non-stain carpet, window glass with safety film, and a stable dining table that gives support when a person gets up from their chair.
“All these innovations help older Australians, people living with dementia and people with disabilities to stay within their own home by installing technology or making simple renovations, rather than moving into a care facility,” said Jodie Rutherford, Project Manager – Property, Baptist Community Services.
“The moveable kitchen cupboards come both down and forward, which is very useful for somebody who is in a wheelchair or short of stature.
“Without this facility, these people would normally have to live without overhead cupboards, which is inconvenient as they are a main storage area in any kitchen.
“People in wheelchairs can’t easily use underbench cupboards either, as they are difficult to open from the front and have to be approached from the side, requiring a lot of maneuvering.
“Being able to raise and lower benchtops and cupboards is ideal in a home where a person with a disability lives with able-bodied people, as the facilities can be adjusted by the individual user as required, suiting both sets of needs,” she said.
Caredesign Business Development Manager Warren Murray said: “A person who is wheelchair-bound or unable to reach standard worktops or overhead cupboards would want to think seriously about these facilities. The cost is reasonable when weighed against the benefits.
“For people thinking of moving house or fitting a new kitchen because they can’t reach the cupboards or use the benchtop, installing Pressalit Care’s Indivo system would be much easier and more economical.
“The lowering cupboards and worktops aren’t just for domestic kitchens either. They also have applications in offices and other occupational workplaces, to assist short or disabled people,” he said.
Care professionals, home carers and people with disabilities can inspect and tour the Age Friendly Home by arrangement with Baptist Community Services. Open Houses will be held as required to meet user interest in the facility.
The modular Pressalit Care Indivo system can be incorporated into a range of standard and custom-fabricated cupboards and worktops, permitting professional and private users to combine them with the furniture of their choice, taste and professional requirements. They can comply with both OHS and personal needs without having an institutional appearance.
“There are thousands and thousands of people - younger and older - who have a limited need for support but who would baulk at the prospect of having anything of an institutional nature in their homes. Pressalit Care overcomes this by incorporating its lifts within a huge variety of kitchen furniture,” Murray said.
The functional and robust design of the Pressalit Care Indivo system, actuated by simple and safe switching equipment, also enhances the comfort and safety of professional and voluntary carers as well as kitchen workers, caterers, teachers, nurses and relatives who often perform a major share of kitchen work.
Worktops and wall cupboards are adjusted to a comfortable height using switches on the front. Worktops can be adjusted vertically 400mm. Wall cupboards can be moved diagonally, both vertically and forwards. From its highest position, the cupboard can be moved 350mm downwards and 150mm forwards.
Safety features include shielding (unobtrusive plates and pressure-sensitive safety bars) designed to prevent injury in operation. These incorporate the extensive experience of the Danish-designed Pressalit Care ranges of kitchen and bathroom products, which are designed to a philosophy that impaired mobility need not limit a person’s life.
The Indivo system is built as modules, which makes them easy to transport and install. It also means the components can be adapted to majority of existing worktops and wall cupboards.
The Pressalit Care range incorporates both kitchen and bathroom products , including manually or electrically actuated adjustable basins and toilet brackets, raised toilet seats, adjustable change tables, support arms, seats, storage containers, modular shelves and baskets, handrails, curtain rails, shower rails, corridor rails, shower heads and tapware.