How To Make Your Home Elderly-Friendly
A home that houses elderly has to be carefully designed as their needs are completely different when compared to younger members in the family. With age, the body's energy levels drop and health deteriorates, making it difficult for people to perform even the simplest of daily works, including taking a shower, walking from one place to another, etc.
- Grab bar: Our elder ones often suffer from weak legs and knees. Thus, they need support to stand, walk and to climb up. Install grab bars in areas, including bathroom, staircase, kitchen an at the entrance, to provide them support. These grab bars will assist them balance their body weight, take a break if they want to while walking also ensure that they have a support they can hold onto.
- Colour contrast: Use of obvious contrast would help them differentiate between areas and things. In old age, even the vision suffers and becomes blur. Hence, at times it becomes difficult for them to differentiate between one area from other or if there is an elevated floor. For instance, make sure you differentiate the flooring and cabinet in your kitchen. So, white or light coloured cabinets should be coupled with dark flooring. Similarly, if your home has an elevated floor that differentiates the living from the dining, make sure the two are of different colour. If they are separated by a stair, make sure the stair is coloured differently.
- Movable furniture: In case you have an elderly who is differently-abled and uses a wheelchair, having movable and light-weight furniture is a must. In case they want to move around in the house, they will not have to depend on any one to help them move the furniture for them. Rather they would be able to move this light-weight furniture on their own.
- Door knobs: If your doors are equipped with door handles, replace them with knobs. Handles are heavy and require a higher amount of effort to open while knobs are smoother and easier to operate. For elderly, who have weak gross motor skills, this will be more comfortable in operating knobs.
- Open areas: Try and replicate the open space model into your home. This will help them navigate easily across the home without having to open many doors or take too many turns, or even bump into things. Make use of the most minimal and light-weight furniture. Moreover, place the things that they need regularly in the most convenient places and try to label the cabinets for them to pick the stuff they are looking for easily.