One of the most overlooked facts about living with the elderly is how differently furniture works for them as they do for the average adult. However, with a little fixing, mostly by following some well-established principles of universal design, it is possible to design a home to be as friendly as possible to all ages.
Below are our suggested ideas that might help make your home safer for the elderly, without compromising the quality of living for your family.
Use levers instead of knobs
Do you think turning a doorknob is easy? Just wait until you develop arthritis or similar conditions on your hand. Anyone who has arthritis of any age will tell you that doorknobs are their bane. Fortunately, the solution is simple: replace doorknobs with lever-style hardware.
Levels are also very useful for faucets. Also, speaking of replacement, illuminated rocker switches are much more convenient to use for the elderly compared to standard toggle light switches.
Slippery surfaces aren’t the only thing you have to worry about. Make it a point to eliminate thresholds or at least lower their height. For those who use walkers, it’s better to use low-pile carpeting to minimize any chances of an accident. This isn’t just for the elderly; even the average adult, as well as children, can benefit from a significantly lowered risk of slipping.
Stairs are very dangerous for the elderly, but there is little you can do to remove the use of stairs in your home if you live in a multi-storied apartment. Instead of doing that, here’s the next best thing you can do: customize your stairs. Adding more lighting, handrails, as well as defining the steps more so the edges are easier to see can do wonders in helping to prevent falls. Adding low-pile carpeting can also minimize the pain in case such falls do happen.
Space Efficient Furniture
This is especially true for those who are caring for a senior that need to use a wheelchair. Since they consume a lot of space, you’ll want to rearrange your furniture so it’s much easier for them to move around. Custom made furniture is your best bet here if you want to have a perfectly arranged room with just the right amount of furniture that the elderly, as well as you and those living in your house, can use.
Strategically placing grab bars in long corridors, inside bathrooms and everywhere else around the house can help instil confidence in the elderly and encourage them to move around the house as opposed to being afraid of tripping falling.
These are just some of the ways to make homes more senior-friendly, but remember, an elderly-friendly home doesn’t always mean that it doesn’t have to look good. Your home can be both physically and visually appealing, without compromising anything. In such cases, custom made furniture are the best because, in tandem with a good interior designer, you can make sure that your house is well-designed for adults, children and the elderly alike. At WTP, we have our in-house carpenters who have had years of experience in the field and are highly skilled in designing and producing custom furniture to your needs. Explore your options with us today!