Perfect Home For An Old Person
Aging is one of the most natural, inevitable and universal parts of our life. Many of us are accustomed to living with our grandparents, aging parents, or relatives. International Elderly Day is celebrated on the first of October every year to ensure the safety and rights of the elderly and to create global awareness about issues affecting the elderly. Although many of us have our elderly family members living with us, we might fail to realise how simple tasks like moving around, going to the bathrooms, or getting out of bed could be different or difficult for them considering their age and health. As a person ages, their physical strength gradually decreases and they require extra care and comfort. Especially if they are suffering from diseases like diabetes, arthritis, or dementia, which are more common among elderly people. Today’s blog is all about creating a safe and comfortable home for your loved ones, especially your elderly family members.
Comfortable furniture/ Tall beds and sofas
While choosing furniture for your home, make sure that they are of comfortable height. Lower beds and sofas make it difficult for older people to sit on and get up independently. A bed with optimal height would be the one that will allow them to put their feet on the floor while sitting on it. Depending on the person’s height, their ideal bed could be 25 to 36 inches tall according to the experts. If the bed is a few inches lower than the requirement, a thick mattress could be used to increase the height.
Tall beds are more comfortable for the elderly people than the lower ones.
For other furniture too, try to go for the pieces that are of standard height. If possible, choose beds with padded headboards and chairs with cushioning as it will ensure maximum comfort for them. Replacing door knobs with lever-style handles, using large handles for drawers will also go a long way in making their everyday lives easier.
Secure staircases and floors
Stair and floor safety must be ensured to avoid any kind of accident. The floors should never be too slippery. Slip-resistant carpets or doormats could be used if necessary. Moreover, if there are any cracks or unevenness on the floor, it needs to be repaired immediately. The furniture should be placed in such a way that it is easy to move around the house.
If there’s a staircase at or on the way to your home, it is essential to have railing or handles on both sides of the stairs. If possible, a resting space should be arranged between floors so that the elders can sit and catch their breath for a while if necessary.
Proper lighting around the house is important for every member of the family. But for an elderly person, who might already be struggling with poorer eyesight issues, it is absolutely necessary to live in a well-lit home. Their room should be well ventilated so that there is enough natural light and air flow. All the furniture should be placed in well-lit areas to reduce the chances of tripping on or over something. Lamps or spotlights should be installed at the dark corners of the home. Dream light is another form of lighting that could be very useful for the elderly people. You can keep dream lights on while you sleep so that the house is not entirely dark at night. It is better to avoid dark interiors or decorations with low lighting as they are not convenient for people with poorer eyesight.
Minimal but accessible decor
You can place a bedside table next to the bed to keep everything at reach.
For the elderly people, it is better to have everything they might need in their room. For this, instead of a lot of furniture, invest in minimal pieces that are good for their needs. In fact, it is better to go for a minimal decor since it’ll leave them with enough space to move around.
A bedside table could be used to keep their medicines, water bottle, glasses etc. so that they can reach these from their bed. A portable shelf could be used to store books, newspapers or magazines for them. If possible, install a fan-light switchboard right next to the bed or arrange a remote controlled switch.
Safe and convenient bathrooms
It is better to have a bathroom attached with the room of the older members so that they can use it at their convenience. If there is no attached bathroom, they should at least be provided with a room which is nearer to a bathroom. High commode should be installed in the bathroom as it is difficult for an older person to sit at lower positions. A grab bar should be installed beside the commode and in the shower so that they can grab onto something while sitting down and getting up. Many older people find it difficult to keep standing for a long time. So a small bench or folding tool could be kept in the bathroom for them to sit down while taking a bath. Lastly, it is extremely important to make sure that the bathroom floor is clean, dry and slip resistant at all times.
Elderly persons tend to spend more time at home than anyone else in the family. It is important to ensure that they’re not getting bored or living a monotonous life at home. You could set up comfortable lounging spaces in the balcony or in a corner of the living or study room where they can relax and do their favourite leisure activities. Keeping an accent chair with a footstool in the living room will allow them to sit comfortably with their feet up. You could also get an easychair for them and place it next to a small tea table.
If you have a large balcony, you can hang a nice cradle and spread different types of cushions on it to make it comfortable.
These design changes will not just make the home elderly-friendly but will also ensure a safe and comfortable living space for everyone else too. Let us know which of the design ideas you’ll be implementing at your home.