As the Baby Boomer generation ages and the expense of long-term care rises, many people choose to age in place. Given that many older people have spent decades in these homes, it’s unsurprising that they want to remain there as long as possible. There are numerous things you can do to improve and lengthen the lives of older people, from preventing falls to selecting appropriate furniture and aids. And, because seniors live longer and more active lives than earlier generations, specific changes to their homes are required to keep them independent. Our senior-friendly home design ideas will make your home comfortable, safe, and accessible to everyone, regardless of age or physical ability.
1. Invest in senior-friendly floors
Marble and polished stone flooring may appear beautiful, but they typically lack sufficient grip, resulting in slips and falls. Because such mishaps can cause considerably more harm to elders, it’s critical to minimize their chances as much as possible. When choosing the flooring for a senior-friendly home, it’s crucial to opt for something that’s slip-proof and easy to maintain. Cork, rubber, and linoleum are examples of such flooring. Furthermore, such flooring is level, lessens the impact in the event of a fall, and will reduce the chances of slipping. Because replacing all of the floorings in each room is a demanding task, you might not be able to do it straight away. Especially if you’re renovating an older property with a long list of jobs to complete. In this case, consider placing carpets in high-traffic areas. Adding smooth, tightly lopped carpets that are fastened to the floor lowers the risk of falling and sustaining injuries. Additionally, when it comes to the floor, keep it level to the degree possible. Moreover, avoid strong patterns or shiny surfaces that might cause depth perception issues.
2. Make your home as clutter-free as possible
Stumbling or knocking into things is more likely to happen when your home is cluttered. Moreover, you may have a tougher time finding what you’re looking for. For a senior-friendly home design, a rule of thumb is to make sure everything in it is something you (or the senior you know) genuinely want to keep. This means you must reevaluate all of your possessions, including furniture, decor, and other personal belongings. If you’re downsizing after retirement, don’t worry; you won’t have to sacrifice everything you own. Namely, if moving to a smaller home, you just need to optimize this brand-new space. This will ensure that the elderly have enough room to move about freely and get to where they wish. While at it, clear out any of the storage areas and arrange them to make them easy to look through.
3. Choose appropriate items to put into your home
The items you choose for your senior-friendly home should have a clear purpose and be easy to use. For example, to enforce a fully independent lifestyle, invest in a smart security system or thermostat you can control from your smartphone. Simple adjustments like this could make a huge difference. When it comes to furniture like chairs, sofas, and beds, go with the higher ones. This makes them more convenient to go on and off of. In addition, opt for furniture with a lot of lumbar support. And a footstool may also be beneficial for improving blood circulation.
When it comes to other kinds of furniture like bookcases and tables, always avoid sharp edges. These edges can be pretty dangerous when mishaps like a slip happen. With so many items on the market that make the lives of seniors easier, the only thing you need to do is a bit of research.
4. Make your home’s bathroom senior-friendly
With so many places to slip on and no places to safely grab onto, it’s no surprise that most older adults require assistance when using the bathroom. So, if you’re updating your home room by room in order to follow a senior-friendly home design, this is the room to start with. To endorse independence and safety, you can add devices such as grab bars into your bathroom. You can place these useful tools near any area where an older person may need an extra hand, like the shower and toilet. However, you may use grab bars in other parts of your home, such as near the stairs or kitchen.
In addition to the grab bars, you can add benches in the shower to make showering that much safer and easier. Other things to consider in your bathroom are step-in-showers, hand-held showerheads, and a possible smart gadget you can use in case of emergency.
5. Install adequate lighting
Changes and issues in vision are common as people age. However, adequate lighting can help. It’s essential to have enough and evenly distributed lighting. This will prevent injuries and will help the elderly do everyday tasks. There should be plenty of light sources, such as natural ones from windows, glass doors, or skylights, and artificial ones in the form of ceiling lights, desk lamps, and wall lamps. Choose lighting locations wisely based on frequently utilized areas, such as above your kitchen countertops. If possible, choose lights that can be moved about to vary the direction of the light and that have dimmers. Lastly, they place light switches in easily accessible areas due to their limited mobility.
6. Prepare plenty of lounging areas
Creating plenty of lounging spots is the next senior-friendly home design idea that many elderly individuals appreciate. What exactly does this imply? Simply said, create a few little areas where seniors can rest in between tasks or merely because they want to. Create a tiny nook between two flights of stairs, for example, where they can rest and regain their energy. Additionally, set up a place outside where they can relax while soaking up the very beneficial Vitamin D. You can create many types of areas. However, if you lack inspiration for decorating such spaces, you may find it online. We are confident you (or the senior you’re setting up the home for) will thank us later.