AAL technologies: Ambient Assisted Living The term Ambient Assisted Living with the abbreviation AAL is about supporting older and disadvantaged people, depending on the situation and unobtrusively, in everyday life. This takes place, among other things, through (electronic) systems as well as through methods and concepts or services and products. Everything is user-centered – i.e. directly geared towards people – and integrated into their immediate living space. Accordingly, the technology is adapted to the needs of the user and not the other way around.
Many different groups of people benefit from AAL technologies in different ways. Older people who are still healthy and fit can improve their quality of life through ambient assisted living. AAL enables sick people to live independently in their home environment for longer.
Ambient Assisted Living includes, for example, things such as an automatic stove switch-off when absent, protective measures against break-ins or control of lighting, room temperature or music that is individually tailored to the user.
For more information, visit the Frauenhofer Alliance’s AAL website, for example .
How big should the bedroom be?
If the size of the bedroom is too tight, this can mean that the room can no longer be used by people who need help getting up or who are dependent on a wheelchair from time to time.
In the case of barrier-free bedrooms, a minimum room size of 15 m² is assumed, whereby bedrooms that are used by wheelchair users should be at least 18 m².
For a bedroom with a double bed, which should be barrier-free or wheelchair-accessible, a size of approx. 20 m² is much more advantageous. With a straight room section, with a minimum wall length of 4.70 m on two opposite sides and 4.10 m on the other two sides, it is possible to position the bed and wardrobe so that wheelchair users can also reach both sides of the bed and have unrestricted access to have the closet. To do this, the headboard of the bed should be on the longer wall and the wardrobe should be on the wall opposite the bed.
A barrier-free single bedroom, which does not have to be wheelchair accessible, can offer enough space with a room size of approx. 11 m². For example, if two wall sides are 3.10 m long and two wall sides are 3.50 m long, the 100 x 200 cm single bed can be placed with the headboard on one of the shorter walls and the wardrobe can be positioned opposite. There is then enough space around the bed to move around, for example to allow it to be set up freely or to facilitate care.
Sufficient space should be available in the barrier-free bedroom to accommodate a toilet chair if necessary or to have space for a walker or wheelchair.
What are movement areas? – How big should movement areas be?
Movement areas are contiguous, undistorted floor areas that are available for movement. The areas that are required for the use of facilities and equipment belong to the movement areas.
When planning and designing barrier-free or wheelchair-accessible living space, it is permissible to cover or superimpose movement areas. However, it must not be such that the function of the movement areas is restricted, which can be the case, for example, due to protrusions from the wall, radiators, handrails, pipes or doors when they are open.
The clear height above movement areas is usually rated as sufficient with a height of at least 200 cm to 210 cm. However, this height can be significantly too low for a barrier-free environment for tall people. It is assumed here that the clear height should be at least 230 cm or more in order to be able to rule out a hazard.
Movement areas in barrier-free apartments are defined as 120 cm x 120 cm. This size is at least required in DIN 18040 for people with reduced mobility.
Wheelchair users need a movement area in the format 150 cm x 150 cm in the places in the apartment where a change of direction by more than 90 degrees or a maneuvering process is necessary. The movement area is defined as a square and not as a circle with a diameter of 150 cm, because such driving movements, especially for people who are weaker, less secure or have limited mobility of the upper arms, an area larger than the circle diameter of 150 cm cm fails. For this reason, it makes more sense to define the movement area in a square form.
In front of and along furniture such as the bedroom cupboard, a minimum depth of 90 cm or 150 cm should be available for wheelchair users as a movement area in barrier-free rooms.
For furniture and equipment that is approached from the side with the wheelchair, the width of the movement area should be at least 120 cm.
Movement areas in the bedroom
In the barrier-free bedroom, the space to move around the bed should be at least 120 cm along one long side of the bed and at least 90 cm along the other long side (clearances to walls, furniture, etc.). In the wheelchair-accessible bedroom, there should be a movement area of at least 150 cm along one long side of the bed (bed side used by wheelchair users) and at least 120 cm along the other long side (clearances to walls, furniture, etc.). To ensure that the wheelchair can be turned around and that it is easier to get into or out of bed, there should be at least 150 cm of movement space in the other direction (see above: 150 cm x 150 cm).