Design Features to Consider for an Age-Friendly Home, Latest Shopping News
Whether you are living with seniors or helping elderly parents modernize a space, their home decor may need to be altered to meet their needs and comfort.
Many active seniors value independence. They need to be able to carry out their activities – from household chores to maintenance – with ease and simplicity.
Here are some design and furniture ideas for creating a senior-friendly home:
Keep the ground level
Raised floors like thresholds and steps can be a tripping hazard.
Mr. Ivan Lin, interior designer and director of Aart Boxx Interior, said, âKeep the ground as level as possible and avoid curbs or raised platforms. If a floor of different heights is required, consider a ramp instead. “
This is especially useful if there is someone at home who needs a wheelchair.
Consider non-slip floor tiles or treatments
Tiles like marble and polished stone floors can look great, but they often don’t provide enough grip, which can lead to slips and falls. Especially in the bathroom and kitchen, non-slip tiles should ideally be installed.
Mr. Lin said, âEven so, rough tiles can be slippery when they come in contact with soap and water. Homeowners may consider applying a nano-slip treatment, a solution that increases friction even. when the soil is wet or soapy.
“However, it should be reapplied every two or three years.”
Install guardrails or grab bars
At the same time, consider installing rails in the bathroom for additional support. These are also useful in driveways and if your home has stairs or steps.
Bathrooms can be fitted with shower benches or chairs for a more comfortable and safer showering experience.
Watch out for sharp edges
Not only should the placement of furniture not interfere with the movement of the elderly, but also take note of objects with sharp edges.
Compact, rounded furniture creates more space for movement and is less dangerous.
Avoid loose rugs
Rugs and carpets are soft and comfortable underfoot, but can also contribute to the risk of falling if they are loose or have curled edges. If the senior resident prefers to have them, add non-slip carpet pads to keep them in place.
Aging is often accompanied by changes in vision and eye problems. Sufficient and even distribution of ambient lighting without glare is crucial – think of brighter, cooler lights rather than subdued yellow lights.
Targeted lighting inside cabinets or in functional areas such as countertops can be helpful in easily locating items and preventing accidents.
Such lights can be easier on the eyes of an elderly person if the intensity and direction are adjustable.
In addition, light switches should be placed within reach (or an arm’s length) from the entrance.
Avoid clutter and create accessible storage
Clutter around the house increases the risk of hitting objects and requires more time to search for objects. While you want enough storage, keep it accessible. Low cabinets with drawers and long wall cabinets make it easy to retrieve items without having to stretch or climb on a stool.
Choose furniture with height and support
When it comes to chairs, sofas, and bed frames, choose ones that are high enough for older people to get up or sit down easily.
Chairs and armchairs should ideally have a back high enough to provide lumbar support – avoid those with uncomfortable straight backs.
A footrest is also great for supporting the feet to improve blood circulation.
Replace door handles
For aging adults with arthritis, doorknobs can literally be a pain. Replace them with levers to make it easier for seniors.
This article first appeared in The Singapore Women’s Weekly (www.womensweekly.com.sg).