Architecture and home design are here to meet two crucial conditions: creating attractive objects and ensuring functionality for various groups of people.
Nowadays, the diversification of people by their needs is getting more intensive. Singles in their thirties have different design demands from couples with families. Also, elderly citizens make several groups of homeowners and users. Those healthy ones need different conditions from those that suffer from some health problems.
Since older people are often neglected in terms of home design and functionality, we’ve put together five crucial home design features to meet their needs.
1) Lights around the place
No matter if it’s a small apartment condo or a full-scale family house, it needs to be properly illuminated. Older people like to go for walks early in the morning or before bedtime. These periods are especially popular times for their physical routines in summerwhen the temperatures are high during the daytime.
When they’re coming back home, they should be able to see the walking paths around the home. That’s why installing one or more motion sensor lights is a beneficial hack for older people. As they’re approaching their house or apartment building, the light will switch on. It will reduce the chance of getting hurt while walking in the dark.
There should be enough lights inside the home, as well. Since older people often go to the toilet at night, installing a motion sensor light in the hallway and the bathroom is a reasonable option.
2) Easily accessible bathtubs
Older people often have problems with muscles and bones. These difficulties cause inconvenience when it comes to moving and doing some regular daily tasks. Since elderly people are prone to fall injuries, it’s important to eliminate the risk of falling wherever possible.
In line with that, it’s important to install ergonomic bathtubs in their bathrooms. These baths tubs need to be spacious enough for older people of different weights and shapes to smoothly fit in.
Also, access to their bathtubs should be smooth and easy. This means that there should be some access ramps or portable bath steps. In case of more serious disability, home designers need to work with those elderly people to adapt their bathrooms to their conditions.
3) Safe floors
When talking about dangerous falls and elderly people, it’s important to mention floors in the home. Since our reflexes and reactions are slowing down as we’re getting older, we tend to hurt ourselves in some unexpected ways.
So, due to the ageing process in the elderly, rugs and small carpets become risky items. Older people can easily trip, slip, or fall over those things.
To make sure that the entire living space is adapted to old people’s condition, it’s better to replace small rugs and carpets with their larger counterparts. Even these larger items need to be properly fixed to the floor. There are inexpensive anti-slip stickers that are attached to the floor-side of carpets.
Removing floor covers completely is an option, as well. In that case, it’s important to wipe parquet or laminated tiles with cleaning liquids that don’t make them slippery.
Also, turning to some other flooring options to avoid slipping and tripping, like rubber or cork, is something to think about.
4) Smooth driveway and pathways
In line with the aforementioned walks and strolls, homeowners with older people need to think about the quality of pathways around the home. When elderly people get retired, they spend more time outdoors. Sometimes they don’t go anywhere special but walk around the house or sit in their yard. Moving around the house or apartment building can be dangerous for them if the pathways and the driveway aren’t properly maintained.
For instance, if there are any damage or holes in the pathway, they can sprain their ankles.
If the driveway is slippery when it rains, they can slip, fall down, and have a fracture or even concussion.
Therefore, it’s vital to repair all the damaged pathways and coat the driveway withanti-slippery materials.
5) Ergonomic windows and doors
Many old people find it difficult to use knobs and other similar items that require a fair amount of physical strength.
Instead of knobs on your doors and windows, go for more practical, ergonomic handles. Also, installing magnets on the doors inside the home and adding a simple handle on them is a reasonable option.
The same strategy should be applied to the bathroom door and window. When an older person needs to go to the toilet at night, it might be difficult for him or her to turn the knob. A door with a magnet and a simple handle will make this part of their lives more convenient.
Last, but not least, it’s crucial to ensure that older people can access their garages smoothly, both from the home and from the outside. This means that the garage door needs to come with remote control and that the access to the house should be without any stairs between the garage and the house.
Getting old is often an inconvenient experience. That’s why it’s so important to ensure safe and comfortable living conditions for elderly people in their homes. Architecture and home design are here to help us reach that goal. From ergonomic access points to safe bathrooms and properly illuminated homes, many things need to be adapted to elderly people. And if we allow them to move freely inside and around their home, we’ll give them a chance to lead a satisfying daily life without being afraid of injuries and falls.