Interior Design Essentials for the Elderly
At certain age even your own home may turn into a true obstacle course. How to create a safe and comfortable interior for the older person?
Light switches. In the corridors install such switches, which can be activated on each end of the hall. Semi-darkness may lead to falling.
Walls. Walls of the corridor must be free from any furniture – elderly people frequently lean on the walls during the movement.
Bed. Make sure that it’s with a special orthopedic mattress. If there’s no opportunity to buy it, select rougher models – with independent spring blocks and elastic filling.
Bedside table. It must be really “bedside” – water and necessary medicines must be always at hand.
Sofas and arm-chairs. They must be tall enough and not too soft. Getting up out of a low and soft couch is not an easy task for the older person. That’s why the furniture height must ensure that sitting man’s feet safely stand on the floor and knees are bent at the right angle.
Carpets. Check whether the carpets have curled-up edges. It’s a high risk! Fix the edges securely with the help of a double-sided tape.
Lamps. There must be a light source near the headboard, which can be switched on without getting up. The elderly should not get up in the dark.
Bath. Elderly-friendly bathrooms usually feature shower cabins rather than bathtubs. At certain age people have difficulties in getting in and out of the bath.
Handholds. Fix them to bathroom walls to make the movement process easier and safer.
Mats. Anti-slip rubber mats must be beside the bathtub and on its bottom.
Mixer taps. It’s perfect to have thermostatic mixer taps. Thus you may be sure that too hot water will never run. If there’s no opportunity to buy a “smart” tap, select a single-lever type – it’s much more elderly-friendly.
Toilet. The toilet bowl must be tall enough. If the old person feels discomfort in getting up, consider special raised toilet seats. These onlays are adjustable in height and some models have arms for more convenience.
Kitchen utensils. Pot handles must be heat-stable: with age people start to have delayed perception to the hot and cold, and the old person may easily get a burn.
Gas. It’s strongly desirable to have a gas stove with gas-flow control – it turns off the gas flow when the flame goes out for some reason. Aged people gradually lose the sense of smell.
Wardrobes. Try to arrange all the basic necessities on eye-level and lower shelves. Older people must not raise their arms above the head as this pose may cause dizziness and falling.
Stickers. They’ll help remember what kind of stuff is stored in this or that cabinet.
Threshold. If there are thresholds on the floor, highlight them with a white paint to avoid stumbling.
Phone numbers. Phone numbers of close relatives and emergency service must be posted in plain sight.