The elderly have special needs in their daily lives. A few changes to the furniture layout and reasonable architectural choices in your home ensure that the living environment is conducive to all generations in the family.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that one out of every four seniors over the age of 65 suffers from falls each year. Falls and other non-fatal trauma-related conditions lead to death amongst the seniors. That’s why it’s essential to prioritize safety amongst the senior living community if they choose to age in their homes.
Read on for thoughtful options that will make seniors’ homes safe and stylish for life ahead.
When we talk of slippery floors, the first thing that comes to mind is the bathroom. The bathroom is a high-risk zone for the elderly. For safety and minimal accidents, consider installing anti-slip floors. The river rock tiles, famously known as the pebble tiles, will work well for this purpose.
If changing the floor proves tricky, consider laying down some anti-slip rubber mats. These mats may help prevent or reduce injuries in case of slips or falls.
Injuries involving getting on and off the toilet are on the rise for seniors over 65 years. A grab bar, also known as a handrail, is a helpful device as it helps you move with ease and offer additional support, especially when getting in and out of the shower area or when using the toilet. Also, it’s safer for seniors to take a shower while seated, especially when they are unassisted.
A handheld showerhead consists of a long and flexible hose with a showerhead attached to one end. A suitable shower diverter makes it easy for you to redirect the water flow from the showerhead to the handheld shower, and it will make it easier for the showerhead to reach the bench while showering.
Good lighting in all parts of your home ensures safety and security. It also enables seniors to find their way around and minimize the chances of injury. Also, it would be better to have a window on the bedside for natural light. Also, it would be essential to have lights installed under the shelves to shed light on the countertops in the kitchen.
They are either round-shaped or door levers. They also come in various shapes, designs, and functions. Some designs can particularly prove challenging to use for both children and seniors. Older adults who have arthritis may have a stressful moment using some of these designs.
Door levers are more manageable for children and seniors to use. Door levers are also easy to use if your hands are wet, and also, you can still open the door with your arm.
Bedroom safety is a number one priority since seniors spend much time in the bedroom. Having an elderly-friendly bedroom design incorporates several things ranging from furniture to natural lighting.
For the bed, use a standard height bed instead of a low one as it makes it difficult for seniors to sit or get up independently. The bed height should ensure that the feet step the floor when seated on the edge of the bed. Also, provide all the corners of the room with proper lighting.
Additionally, bedside lamps are within their reach as you can use them to cater to the dark corners and help them at night if they need something.
Hearing can be a great problem as we age. It would be a great idea to install smoke detectors with an intense strobe light for those with hearing problems. Also, the doorbell should be audible enough and installed in all rooms for additional security. Additionally, purchase telephones or mobile phones with a large keypad and an adjustable volume control button as it will be helpful for seniors with hearing or vision problems.
Seniors love spending their time under the sun when having their morning tea or when reading a newspaper. Comfortable lounging spaces like balconies come in handy at such times. Incorporate some senior friendly home features by choosing swing chairs with armrests and backrests for support. Make sure that the swing chair is stable and strong enough to support them.
Seniors need ample space to move around freely without tripping or bumping into furniture. To do this, you may have to rearrange your living room layout to give a clean and clutter-free design that offers freedom of movement.
The small and portable table stands close to the sofa don’t interfere with traffic flow in the rest of the space. In simple terms, small pieces of furniture come in handy when seniors need to put up their feet in informal areas.
If possible, design your home with no steps at the main entrance. Also, the door opening to the hallway width should be at least 3.5feet apart. This eases wheelchair movement. Also, the entry should be well lit and a bench placed near it. The bench helps place your stuff while you open the main door and is useful when tying or untying the shoes.
Seniors need gadgets that don’t require them to use their fingers and hands to get things done. This is why faucets come in handy to bring safety and comfort in the bathroom and kitchen.
Touchless faucets, also known as automatic faucets, come in handy in old age. You will never have to constantly keep monitoring to see that the tap has been left running. These faucets operate through proximity sensors which allow the valves to open up. As soon as the hands get out of range, they automatically shut down. The only thing to look out for here is the source of energy. Most of these faucets are battery powered so the only thing to ensure the batteries are replaced on time.
Try and make sure your home is accommodative to all generations. Incorporate these modifications and see your home have that stylish look you have always wanted with all safety measures.
About the Author
Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey.