How To Make Your Home Elderly Friendly
Do you have your elders living with you? Without a doubt, you would want to make your home comfortable for them to move around easily and ensure that it is safe as well as homely. To do so, you may have to make some minor interior adjustments to accommodate their requirements.
Here's what to look out for when you're looking to upgrade your home to be more elderly-friendly.
Safety first; so when planning your living room, keep clutter away and obstacles out of sight. You don’t want your parent to go bumping or tripping on things! Opt for well-lit conditions (or floor-to-ceiling windows for ample natural sunlight). Buying furniture? You might want to consider light furniture that are easy to move around should you need to make space or reach for things that may have fallen underneath. A big no in our opinion as carpets increase the chances of tripping and falling.
Where the kitchen’s involved, there needs to be functionality and practicality so that any work done there is easy and everything is accessible. A tip: Include lower racks as part of your kitchen design so that you can store things that are often used to minimise the need of climbing up stools. You can also consider installing pull-down shelves for easy reach or add pullout shelves to reduce the strain of bending over to reach the back of cabinets. All of these can be easily designed by your interior designer.
One thing that comes to mind to make your bathroom safe for an elderly person or even a wheelchair-impaired individual is definitely ample space. With this in mind, it is important that your bathrooms are big enough to accommodate the wheelchair or even allow ample space for your elderly relative to move around comfortably. So when talking to your interior designer, be sure to mention this fact so that he or she can include it into the design.
Other things to consider? For safety, add a ramp at the entrance (for wheelchair users) and grab bars at the side of the toilet so that it is easy to sit down or stand up. A step-in shower is safer than a tub, and a handheld shower head is easier to use than a fixed shower head. Do include slip-resistant tiles on the floor as well. Your interior designer should be able to give you a recommendation on what materials to use.
Plan out the bedroom so that things frequently used are within reach. Think of installing lower drawers or cabinets so that they can be used for storage. You might want to install light switches that are easy to reach or have a torchlight nearby for emergencies. Another tip? Get your interior designer to include a spacious wardrobe in the bedroom design – this way, things can be stored safely without anything falling and hurting someone.
- Consider installing bells and telephones in the bathrooms and bedrooms in case someone elderly needs help. This comes in handy for those who are mobility impaired as well.
- Motion-sensor smart home devices that light up when they detect movements can come in quite handy for your home.
- Doorknobs can be a chore for someone with arthritis. Make life easier by replacing them with lever-style hardware to make life easier.
- Lighting is especially critical on staircases so a well-lit staircase is ideal. You might want to consider adding a coloured border to the edge of the step to prevent falls.