Saline Frydkær is not quite like other girls. She was born with cancer which has caused neural damages. Today, Saline is paralysed from the chest down and uses a wheelchair. An ordinary kitchen is practically impossible to use for wheelchair users, and the Frydkær family set out to create a kitchen which allowed Saline to participate on equal terms with the rest of the family.


The challenge

Saline is just like any other girl, but since she uses a wheelchair and is unable to lean her torso forward, an ordinary kitchen is practically impossible to use. She cannot reach the tap. The upper cupboards are out of reach. She cannot reach pots and pans on the hotplates. And chopping vegetables is impossible because the cabinets under the table do not leave room for her wheelchair.

Even though Saline would like to participate in kitchen activities, it is simply not possible in an ordinary kitchen. Obviously, both Saline and her family were eager to change this and create a new kitchen that took account of her needs.

”We had to help Saline with everything. Today, she can do all of it herself,” says Julia, mother of Saline.


The strategy

In the Frydkær family’s new kitchen, Saline should be able to participate on equal terms with her family. The family reached out to ROPOX, and together with the local municipality and the kitchen supplier, the family got professional advice and guidance on how to design a new, handicap-friendly kitchen.

The new kitchen should not only meet Saline’s needs. It should also work as an ordinary kitchen for the rest of the family and look like a standard kitchen and design-wise fit into a modern home.

”I like to use the kitchen now because I can help my mum and dad, and I can hang out with my friends,” says Saline.


The solution

Accessibility is at the centre of the new kitchen. They installed a Flexicorner kitchen table from ROPOX with hotplates and a sink. The table is height-adjustable and has no base units. It allows Saline to get her wheelchair under the worktop and get a good position by the table. Now, she can reach the water tap and use the worktop. The other family members can easily adjust the table height for standing use with just a touch of a button.

Safety is another key element in the kitchen. As Saline is paralysed in her lower body, there is an increased risk of burns and entrapment. The sink is, therefore, insulated and shallow. It not only protects Saline from burns if someone empties a kettle with boiling water in the sink, but it also leaves room for the wheelchair. Furthermore, the table has a built-in safety stop. If anything gets trapped while the tabletop is adjusted in height, the table stops immediately.


The result

The new kitchen has made a world of difference to Saline and her family: Saline has gone from being dependent on her family’s help in the kitchen to being highly self-reliant. Now, she can make cakes or a cup of hot chocolate with friends, and it is these little things that not only make Saline’s life better, but also make her family happy .

By making the kitchen handicap-friendly, the whole family has gotten a better everyday life, and Saline has gained more freedom and independence.

”It has made a huge difference for us as parents,” says Julia, mother of Saline.


Watch the movie with Saline and her family here.


Download the story about Saline & family here.

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