When you design and build a house that’s for the use of the elderly, you have to make it with their needs in mind. Designing and building a home that is friendly to the elders is not an easy task.
The elderly are different from the average person. They need special considerations when it comes to their home. What might not be intuitive to you can be a massive hurdle to them, and what might not be an issue for you at all can compromise their quality of life.
Therefore, you have to be careful with how you design or build homes to ensure that they are elderly-friendly, that they’re practical and usable, and not just fancily decorated.
With that in mind, here are a few simple tips that you can apply when you need to design or build an elderly-friendly home.
1. Install grab bars and benches in bathrooms
Installing grab bars and benches in bathrooms can be a great way to make a home more elderly-friendly.
Grab bars are usually installed near the toilet and at the edge of the bathtub to help people get in and out of these areas safely. Benches can be next to sinks so that people don’t have to balance on one foot while they wash their hands.
Installing grab bars and benches in bathrooms can help make a home more elderly-friendly, but they’re not just for older people. Anyone who has trouble balancing or needs assistance getting in or out of the bathroom should install grab bars and benches too.
2. Choose slip-resistant floors
Slip-resistant floors are a good idea for elderly-friendly homes because they reduce the risk of falls. Falls can be pretty dangerous for seniors, and even a minor fall can result in serious injury.
The most common cause of falls for seniors is walking on slippery surfaces. This reason is why it’s important to choose slip-resistant flooring so that your loved ones are safer and more stable.
Slip-resistant floors are a must for elderly-friendly homes. With these floors, the elderly can be more independent and confident about their mobility.
The main reason why seniors have a hard time in the home is that they have a hard time with balance and stability. When they are trying to walk across slippery surfaces, they are more likely to slip or fall. This type of flooring can lead to injuries and other accidents that can be life-threatening.
3. Use contrasting colors
The use of contrasting colors is a way to make an elderly-friendly home. These colors are easily distinguishable and help those who are visually impaired.
This contrast is also crucial for those with dementia because it will help them differentiate between things in the room.
It’s also vital for people with other visual impairments because they can see the difference in color and know where they are going.
Some people think that the elderly need to live in a home that is full of muted colors. However, this is not the case at all. The best way to make a home more elderly-friendly is by using contrasting colors. This contrast helps them see better and makes it easier for them to navigate around the house.
4. Make sure you’ve got good lighting
A sound lighting system is a key to an elderly-friendly home. You can use it to help the elderly with their mobility and prevent falls.
You can also use good lighting to improve the mood of the elderly. Being in a dark room can make the elderly feel depressed and lonely. It can also increase their risk of developing dementia because it disrupts their circadian rhythm, which is crucial for memory consolidation and mood regulation.
You don’t even have to install light fixtures to do that. Strategic use of natural light can be an excellent way of making sure that you have good lighting. Make sure that you communicate this approach clearly with your entire team by having clear plans and directions and using tools like design software for contractors to get the team on one page.
5. Keep clutter-free
A clutter-free home is vital because it can help to prevent falls and accidents that may occur in a cluttered house. Clutter can also pose a hazard for the elderly by making it difficult to navigate around the house. Clutter can also lead to feelings of loneliness, which is not suitable for their mental health.
Clutter can be a massive problem for the elderly. It can make it hard to navigate around the home and find things that they need. This mess can cause them to become frustrated, which in turn will cause them to feel isolated and lonely.
Designing your home to be clutter-free can make it easier for the elderly to maintain their autonomy and independence.
6. Secure landing spaces
The landing space is the most critical part of the house for an older person. It is where they can feel safe and secure, and it should be clutter-free.
An example of a landing space in the house could be the bottom of the stairway. Avoid adding rugs there if possible if you’re not sure of how reliable and safe it is to land on, especially at an angle. Another landing space could be when getting out of bed.
These spaces should be secure so that there are no accidents as much as possible.
7. Install security systems
The elderly are more vulnerable to crime and abuse than other age groups. They are also less likely to be able to protect themselves. It is for this reason that it is essential to install security systems in their homes.
A security system can help keep your loved ones safe, and you can feel better knowing they have a system that will alert you if any danger arises.
8. Design for inadequate hearing
Older adults are often not able to hear the sounds that are in their surroundings, and this can be very dangerous for them.
Designing for inadequate hearing means ensuring that all essential household noises are audible from any room within a home. This design includes appliances, alarms, and other background noise such as running water or a ticking clock.
9. Labels and signs
Labels and signs for an elderly-friendly home are essential for the safety of senior citizens. They can be a tool to locate items in the house, let other people know who lives in the house, and inform them about hazards.
You can use them to label food, medicine, or hazardous items like cleaning supplies. Labels can also be a way to identify rooms that are off-limits or unsafe for seniors.
These simple tips can help you design and build a home that is comfortable for everyone but safe and secure for older people, most especially. Apply these tips when you need to design a home that has older people living in it because they deserve to live in a comfortable home that caters to their specialized needs.