You get your house designed as you want it to be, but most importantly, you should have it built as you need it to be. When doing that, it’s not only for yourself but also for your family. When doing that, it’s not only for today but also for tomorrow – for the younger years and for the years to come. How about loving an elderly-friendly house?
Seniors in the family need extra special help and attention because there are things that they cannot do or easily do all by themselves. Just like the present day’s youth, they were once swifter and stronger than they are today. Through time, as they age, their physical features and abilities change, often becoming less than their capabilities when they were younger. Well, that’s totally normal, natural and part of human life.
Because of that, homes upgrade too, and yes, they should. As their owners and inhabitants age, they also get refined to fit the needs of the changing times and of the changing ages of people. It’s completely helpful for one to have a house that suits people of all ages and to be specific, that serves older people. This is significant now and also in the future when it’s already your turn to be one of the elders in your family.
Live in a home that’s timeless and full of gladness. Check out these 8 smart home design ideas for an elderly-friendly house.
1 – Shorten or eliminate the stairs.
For elders, the riskiest and most challenging area inside the house is the staircase. This is specifically for grandmas and grandpas who are already having some difficulties in moving and walking up and down the stairs. Their bones, muscles and joints are not as flexible as they were when these people were younger. It could also be because of some physical struggles brought about by age-related weaknesses.
Because of that, you should shorten or completely eliminate the stairs if you have elderly family members in the same condition. If your stairs at home are too long for them or are actually long for no necessary reason, then you should consider shortening to 5 steps or to any quantity that will be best for your seniors at home.
You may also think about eliminating the whole stairs if that house is only inhabited by your elderly parents or grandparents. Like if you have your own house and your parents or grandparents want to live separately, you can at least remove the stairs to ensure they are safe from the danger of falling off of them.
For new houses, it’s so easy to speak with expert new home builders to request your beloved seniors’ need for a no-staircase kind of abode.
2 – Arrange furniture in a clutter-free layout.
Some elders at home have difficulty in moving and navigating if they have to do large or complicated turns and movements. When your house is filled with stuff, big and small, even with complete shelves, drawers and other storage spaces, your house can become compact and somehow chaotic.
To avoid this and to make your home even more elder-friendly, arrange the furniture in a clutter-free layout. Plan your furniture arrangement wisely. See to it that no furniture can hamper your elders as they move and walk around the house. Even when you have tons of furniture and other items inside your house, neat organization can make them collectively look and function better, keeping your lovely grandmoms and granddads away from harm.
3 – Install grab bars inside bathrooms.
One of the most important rooms at home yet also one of the most accident-prone areas is the bathroom. It’s where you do all your hygiene-related deeds, but if you are not careful, a simple day of washing, bathing and cleaning can become an unforgettable day of mishap.
For the benefit mainly of elders at home, install grab bars inside your bathrooms. These are metal handles attached on walls, near where people move and to what people use in the comfort room. Basically, they are grabbed and held onto by elders as an assistance for walking, sitting or standing up inside the bathroom. Grab bars help one maintain his/her balance, so for seniors with difficulties in standing still or keeping their balance, these are very beneficial.
4 – Choose slip-resistant flooring or cover the floor with carpets.
Not only in the bathroom but also in the kitchen, bedroom, mudroom and other rooms, slipping is a common mishap. This is an accident that might seem simple at first, yet later on, you can just feel your back or legs hurting because of falling or slipping on the floor. This is much more alarming for elders because their bones are no longer as strong as those of playful and frisky kiddos who sometimes just shrug off the pain from slipping.
For an elderly-friendly house, install slip-resistant flooring. Speak with outstanding new home builders to have this kind of flooring done to your dear dwelling. You will not regret the long-term advantage of this flooring. Meanwhile, if for some reason you prefer a temporary addition, then you can cover the floor with area carpets to prevent elders from slipping.
5 – Ensure sufficient overall lighting.
Many elders already have poor eyesight or eyesight problems in general. Help them live life at home better by ensuring that they have sufficient overall lighting in that house. If there’s a room they love, then do your best to make sure that it has the best lighting source! Accidents can happen due to the elders’ errors too, yet this keeps your elders free from dangers caused by dark or insufficiently lit rooms at home.
6 – Paint their rooms with the most apt colors for their age.
An elderly-friendly house is friendly even with the colors it possesses. Paint their rooms with the most apt colors for their age. Colors that make them comfortable and rested are to be used. Choose those that do not give their mood and sight a hard time. Work with interior designers and new home builders to know which colors suit your elders’ house or rooms.
7 – Make switches and sockets accessible.
To guarantee the safety of your beloved seniors, an elderly-friendly house has to have switches and sockets that are accessible. They should be easily reachable, without any hazardous obstruction. They should be set neither on low levels nor on too high areas. Instead, they should be positioned right where your elders can get them without hassle and harm.
8 – Opt for an open floor concept.
There are beautiful homes that any senior family member would love, however, the floor concept always makes a huge difference. Sometimes, houses today are wowing yet complicated and not best for elders. For a fresh and clear interior of an elderly-friendly house, opt for an open floor concept. They will not accidentally bang into huge home decors and furniture. They can be safe with or without assistance from other family members.
FOR THE ELDERS
Elderly family members are so much loved by their children and eternally loved by their grandchildren. As a child or as a grandchild, you know that and can attest to that! So if you live with them under one roof, do your best to ensure that your house favors them too.
The above-mentioned ideas will aid you as you enhance your abode for the sake of your elders’ safety and convenience. Take a look and keep in mind the particular physical abilities of your senior family members. Identify, assess and consider certain health conditions that play an important role in your decision-making process about your elderly-friendly home. Speak with them to also know other needs and concerns that your beloved elders themselves have.
With all these, reach out to your trusted custom or new home builders, so that they can help make your plans and execute your requests. Put your faith in them that they can bring to life the elderly-friendly house that you have in mind.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nicole Ann Pore is a writer, an events host and a voice over artist. Quality and well-researched writing is her worthwhile avenue to enlighten and delight others about things that matter. She is a daytime writer for Horizon Homes, a boutique home building and designing company in Australia. Nicole graduated Cum Laude from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts.
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