Perhaps your mom or dad is living with you. Maybe you’ve taken in a family friend who can’t be cared for properly elsewhere. In any case, you have seniors living in your home.
The only problem is, your home isn’t designed to accommodate the special needs of elderly individuals. Because of this, your close friend or relative is having a difficult time living in the day-to-day.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to your home in order to make life easier on your senior residents. Here are 8 great ways to institute elderly friendly home design!
Tips for Elderly Friendly Home Design
There are tons of things you can do to make a safer home for senior citizens. Truthfully, the tips we’ll discuss below are just the tip of the iceberg.
1. Roughen Up Those Floors
For a young individual, slipping and falling can be painful but is usually not much of a cause for concern. It’s rare that a non-elderly individual suffers a serious injury from a fall.
However, when an elderly individual slips and falls, he or she is especially vulnerable to serious injury. For this reason, when you have elderly residents in your home, you need to make your floors as slip-proof as possible.
The best way to create a slip-proof floor is by using a slip-proof flooring material. Cork, hardwood, vinyl, and linoleum work best. Stone flooring options, on the other hand, should be avoided.
If you can’t afford to change from a stone flooring material, you should invest in some slip-proof mats. The more roughness and terrain you can put on your home’s floor, the safer the seniors in your home will be.
2. Update the Doorknobs
One of the big problems that humans deal with as they get older is arthritis. This condition causes severe pain in the hands, making it almost unbearable for affected individuals to properly utilize their fingers and thumbs.
Unfortunately, conventional door knobs necessitate the full use of the fingers and thumbs. Fortunately, you can deal with this problem by scrapping the doorknobs in exchange for door levers.
Door levers don’t need to be grasped in order to be disengaged. They must only be pushed up or down with an open hand. In other words, they’re ideal for the elderly.
3. Accident-Proof the Staircases
Many elderly individuals struggle with balance and climbing. Because of this, staircases pose a serious hazard for them. After all, it takes good balance and climbing ability to successfully make it up a staircase.
While it would be ideal to just do away with staircases entirely, doing so is usually not a viable solution. Therefore, instead, you should optimize the existing staircases for safety.
Make sure that they’re well lit, that they possess plenty of traction, and that they are equipped with climbing rails on both of their sides. This will provide elderly individuals with all of the control that they need to safely make it up the stairs.
4. Light it Up
Generally, the older a person gets, the harder time he or she will have with seeing things in the dark. What this means is that, if you have seniors living in your home, you need to make your home as bright as technologically possible.
Place lamps in as many corners of rooms as possible. Make light switches exceedingly easy to find and reach. Be cognizant of the fact that your older residents don’t possess the visibility that you possess and work to accommodate them.
5. Make the Bathrooms Fall-proof
Perhaps the room that you’ll want to pay the most attention to when making your home senior-friendly is the bathroom. Bathroom time leaves seniors especially vulnerable to a number of injuries, and so bathrooms must be optimized to accommodate their use.
At the very least, you’ll want to install metal bars in the showers and next to the toilets. You should also pay close attention to the floors, placing down slip-proof mats that allow all residents to gain adequate traction.
6. Install Ramps
If the elderly individuals in your home are wheelchair bound or make use of walkers, you should think about installing an entry ramp. An entry ramp will allow the handicapped individuals in your home to enter at their leisure. They won’t need to wait for assistance simply to enter their home.
There are all types of ramps that you can install next to your home. Regardless of the type you choose, it will help to make your home more handicap-friendly.
7. Set Up Cameras
This next tip can be a little dicey if used without careful consideration. However, as long as the elderly individuals living in your home are okay with it, you could consider setting up cameras throughout the house.
Having a surveillance camera running throughout your home at all times will immediately alert you to any problems that your senior residents might experience. For instance, if someone falls, you will be able to see it, react to it, and tend to the fallen individual’s injuries in a quick and efficient manner.
8. Do Away With Tiny Furniture
One last thing to do when making your home safe for elderly individuals is to do away with all tiny furniture. Anything that sits below knee level is a tripping hazard, specifically to elderly individuals who may be suffering from poor eyesight or a bad back.
Small furniture includes everything from footrests, to low-sitting coffee tables, to kids furniture, and the like. It does not include couches, recliners, and other standard home furniture.
By the same token, you should also work to keep your floors as clear and tidy as possible. Everything from a toy to a dropped sock could become a tripping hazard for an elderly individual in your home.
Find More Useful Lifestyle Tips
If you have a senior living in your home, elderly friendly home design is an absolute must. Utilizing the tips discussed above will go a long way in making your home habitable for your older friend or family member.
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