Imagine your elderly parent or relative having to be extra careful on your smooth-tiled bathroom or on your foyer area which has a slippery rug on it. Or using a bathroom with no shower and just a bathtub that needs to be climbed into. Definitely not comfortable for them, isn’t it? But you can plan your home interiors thoughtfully to accommodate your loved ones.
Here are the top 6 things to keep in mind while designing or redoing your home if you have older parents or relatives visiting often.
Think anti-slip bath mats, and textured, anti-slip strips in the shower. Install bath safety rails or grab bars that will help them get up after using the toilet, or get into a bathtub and out. Better still, install walk-in bathtubs with a door to enter and exit. And a good quality shower bench under the shower, some of which come with armrests, suction cups, and height adjustment options. They’ll love it for sure. All because there is no bigger danger in the house for elderly people than wet bathroom floors!
Slip-proof the Rest of Your House
Remove all rugs that slip beneath your feet. Or secure them with Velcro strips or rug pads and carpet tape. On your stairs, use non-slip treads that stick on. Or go for wall-to-wall carpets. Advise them not to use your office chair with wheels, or give it away if you don’t really need it.
Storage, with a Place for Everything
Don’t let your mom step on Lego blocks, trip over a tricycle or a laptop power cord. Plan for sufficient storage in all rooms. In the nursery, for instance, make sure there is enough storage to tuck away all loose toys, books, and clothes at the end of playtime.
Custom-make your storage if you need to, to give everything a place of its own, including a cycle, skating shoes, or tennis rackets. Okay, you don’t need to store your pet dog, but give her a nook to be secured in, if your parents are not comfortable with her running between their feet all the time.
More importantly, plan proper storage in the guest room so that your parents or relatives don’t have to live out of suitcases when they’re home. Plan convenient storage in the bathroom to keep all their toiletries handy near the shower or tub.
Senior-friendly Pieces of Furniture
In their room, plan for furniture which makes things accessible without having to bend down, or stand on tiptoes.
Have comfortable seating options. A grandfather chair maybe the first thing that comes to your mind, but it one of the toughest to get up from. A sofa or armchair at a height not too low or high could be most comfortable for them.
And needless to say, a comfortable cot and mattress is the most important element in their bedroom.
A Space for Things They Love to do
If your parents or elderly relatives love to read newspaper or books, then make sure to create a reading corner with some of their favourite books added to your library.
If they’re used to spending time outdoors, but you live in an apartment on the 11th floor, give them the feel of outdoors by setting up a comfortable seating area in your balcony surrounded by plants, maybe. Be it writing, knitting or doing yoga and meditation, it will be a lovely touch if you create a space in their room to use when they want to.
Mood lighting might be just what you want in the living room. But elderly people usually need to strain to see in low light conditions. So, plan to install bright white or yellow lights in their room for reading or any other activity, in the kitchen, entryway and in passageways. Install a table lamp or a reading light on a side table near the bed. Or use plug-in sensor lights that can be moved to any room they want. In their bathroom, avoid overhead lights that cast shadows. Instead of light it up from all angles for uniformity.
Remove Excess Furniture
Make way for walking sticks or walkers if any of your parents or relatives are dependent on those. Remove all pieces of furniture that you don’t use on a regular basis such as small footstools, or side tables. Keep away floor sculptures or decorative storage boxes in spaces that are already too cramped. Arrange furniture in a way that there is enough space to move around.
Make Everything Easily Accessible
Keep handy all the things they regularly use. In the kitchen, keep their cutlery and plates in an easily accessible drawer. In the bedroom keep lighting at arm’s reach from the bed, and plan handy spaces for their medicine kits, specs, books and so on. in the garden, keep the tools and watering can handy if that’s where they love to spend time in.
HomeLane’s design partners will help you create a home that’s suited for all family members, no matter what the age. All custom orders can be done hassle-free and within your budget. Sounds too good to be true? Its not! Get in touch today!