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How to Design an Elderly-Friendly Home, SOLVED

August 6, 2020

If your elderly parents or grandparents are moving in, these are the design tips you have to know.

Chances are, your ageing parents will be staying with you in the future. And that’s why you’ll need to make your home as comfortable as possible. Not just for them to move around easily, but to ensure that it is safe too.

Bukit Batok West Avenue 9 by Swiss Interior Design
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Of course, some minor interior adjustments are needed to accommodate their requirements. Not too sure where to start? Here are some basic ideas for every section of your home!

Living Room

Always put their safety first. 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).

Serangoon North Avenue 4 by Dyel Design
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Buying furniture? Pick out furniture that provides better lumbar support like recliners or padded armchairs for additional comfort. Try avoiding carpets as they increase the chances of tripping and falling.


The kitchen has to be both functional and practical so that everything remains accessible. We recommend including lower racks as part of your kitchen design to minimise the need of climbing up stools.

Holland Drive by Habit
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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; just let them know your requirements.


To make your bathroom safe for an elderly person, you need to have ample space. With this in mind, keep the décor to a minimum to better accommodate them.

Wandervale by Jialux Interior
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It’s better to use anti-slip tiles as well. When talking to your interior designer, be sure to mention this fact so it can be included in the design.

Dover Parkview by Space Atelier
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Explore: Plot Twist: A Hip Bachelorette Pad, Designed for Elders?

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 showerhead is easier to use than a fixed showerhead.


Plan out the bedroom so that things frequently used are within reach. Have a side desk or side 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.

Esparina Residences by Charlotte's Carpentry
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Here’s another tip: Include a spacious wardrobe in the bedroom design. This way, things can be stored safely without anything falling and hurting someone.

Common Areas

  • Install 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.

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