In this article about universal design ideas presented at the Atlanta Home Show, the benefits of planning such living spaces - for everyone - are discussed.
It discusses modifications to prevent falling and other ideas for people with disabiilties, elderly people and family caregivers:
"Pam Sanchez, of Pam Sanchez Designs in Atlanta, Georgia, designed the "Safe Home for Life" kitchen. Some of the universal design elements she incorporated were different levels of countertops, elevated appliances, movable work surfaces and shelves that slide out of cabinets.
Sanchez used three different countertop heights in the kitchen, each with multiple purposes. The lower countertops could easily function as an eating area or could serve as a work space for children or people using wheelchairs. Mid-level countertops allowed appliances such as ovens and dishwashers to be mounted at a more comfortable height. The tallest surface is more ergonomical than average-height countertops, allowing people to prepare food without having to bend over the work space.
Candice McNair, of Bright Ideas Interior Design Inc. from Marietta, Georgia, designed the master bedroom and closet installation. It incorporated an adjustable queen-size bed, a hospital bed, comforting colors and many details to make care-giving and living with disabilities easier and stylish."
Interesting how it's becoming more frequently acknowledged - right in the headline of this article and others - that the some of the same products can be marketed toward both groups - and this is the second article I've seen in a "Style" category in the past week linked to the word disability. Click above to read the article.