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How to Create a Senior-Friendly Home

A home that supports senior needs must be designed and laid out with care in mind. Seniors with mobility difficulties require features that a regular home cannot provide. Most of these home improvements and remodelling are inexpensive. As a result of these design features, the elderly feel safer and more comfortable living at home.

Here is how to create a senior-friendly home.

Comfortable Seating

Have seats that support seniors getting up and sitting down comfortably. If what you have for a couch or seat is too difficult to get on and off, it’s time to switch.

Install a Stairlift

As people age, the risk of falls and serious complications is high. Installing a stairlift can help seniors easily move from the bottom to the top.

Install a Shower Chair

A shower chair provides independence. It enables seniors to bathe comfortably without others. It reduces the need for assistance and allows a senior to take a safe shower most dignifiedly.

Remove Rugs

Rugs can confuse someone experiencing memory loss or cognitive difficulties as they believe there is something to step over. For many seniors, rugs become a tripping hazard. Consider removing yours.

Bed at an Appropriate Height

A bed should be at a comfortable height. A bed that’s too low will be difficult to get into and out of. A bed that’s too high can cause falls. You may even want a bed rail for added support for some seniors.

Emergency Response System

Ensure a senior can notify emergency services when they need it. Wearable devices for emergency response systems should work, which means having an infrastructure that will not experience downtime.

Wider Hallways

Wider doorways and hallways are needed to accommodate seniors who need mobility aids to move around. A walker or wheelchair needs enough room to maneuver. Senior doorways should be at least 36 inches wide.

Easy Furniture Layout

Rearrange furniture to provide clear pathways for easy mobility. A layout that prioritizes interaction and visibility is best.

High-Contrast Color

High-contrast colour palettes help delineate spaces better and provide a visual cue for specific rooms.

Have a Non-Slip Floor

A non-slip floor minimizes the likelihood of falls. Linoleum is the best flooring material. It’s easy to maintain, moisture resistant, and highly durable. Linoleum is also available in all colours and styles.

Use Non-Slip Mats

Use non-slip mats and textures where you can’t have non-slip flooring or for added peace of mind. You will most likely want these accessories in the bathroom, bathtub, and shower.

Have Lots of Lighting

Lighting equals visibility. Seniors can identify trip hazards and navigate away from or around them, and lighting is essential to preventing accidents. During overnights, ensure you have night lights in hallways and bathrooms so that seniors have that level of visibility at all times.

Have Grab Bars

Have grab bars in your bathroom to support seniors. If they need some extra physical support, consider including grab bars elsewhere in a senior-friendly home.

Have a Walk-In Shower

A walk-in shower or walk-in tub eliminates the need to step over a high threshold, reducing the risk of slip or fall.

Common Items

Ensure the essentials you use regularly are at the waist or chest level and easy to reach in the kitchen, bathroom, living room, and bedroom. Avoid a senior bending down or reaching up - both carry an increased risk of injury.

Enjoy Accessible Storage

Ensure shelves, cabinets, towel racks, and other storage are accessible and within arm’s reach. Ideally, a senior should be able to reach them without stretching or bending.

Have Lever-Style Handles

Lever-style handles for doors and faucets are better than twist knobs which can be difficult for seniors to use. With a simple push or pull, doors or faucets can be opened.

Easy Doors and Windows

Doors and windows should be easy to open. Be sure to oil any hinges that aren’t working smoothly or replace them outright.

Install Smart Blinds

Motorized blinds can be set on a schedule and controlled by a voice assistant. This makes it easy for seniors to lower and raise the blinds without getting up. Other smart accessories, such as a smart thermostat, can also benefit seniors.

Have an Easy-To-Use Kitchen

Consider ways to make the kitchen more senior-friendly. Height-adjustable countertops and cabinets are helpful. Wall ovens and microwave ovens at eye level are excellent. Kitchen tools and gadgets with easy-grip handles are simple. These design choices are optimal.

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