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June 17, 2008

A Senior Friendly Home:


When you are designing a home for aged people keep a few points at the top of your mind. With a little imagination it is possible to renovate your house for the elderly in your life. Prevention from home accidents and serious emergency incidents are the most important issues that are to be taken care of when you are designing a room or a home for the aged.

It is to be kept in mind that they have brittle bones and probably eye sight becomes a little less at their age.Hence give special attention to the grouping of furniture.

Now let us discuss all the points one by one:

Furniture:
Furniture type is also important for seniors.In bedrooms do not make them very complicated types or with lots of locks for wardrobes.Divide a part of the wardrobe into small drawers for everyday use so that they don't have to search for things everyday which might be problem for them. Put big nice mirrors either on the wardrobe itself or on the wall. This will give a sense of reflection and enlarge the room visually and give a sense of comfort to them.

In Living rooms arrange furniture in small gropings so that it is easier for them for discussions.Chairs and couches or sofas should have hand rests so sit in them easily. They should not be too deep or low so that it is difficult to sit on them or get up easily. Use furniture that are rounded edges so that they are not hurt by any chance. Furniture that might be used for support when walking or rising and are steady and does not tilt are good for use. Do not crowd the entire rooms by furniture, there should be rooms for them to move around.
In bedrooms have bedside tables with telephones, alarm clocks, there should be drawers in the bedside tables where they can put their keys, glasses and other important regular used items.
Do not have many overhead cabinets for storage, instead it is better to have storage space provided inside the beds with drawers which are easy to open from sides which will be easier for senior people to operate.

Lighting:
Placement of proper lights and in proper areas is very important issue. Put plenty of lights in front of furniture like cabinets, wardrobes, mirrors etc. Provide an ample number of floor and table lamps in recreation and reading areas.There should be ample number of windows and doors so that they allow plenty of natural light inside their rooms. Lighting of counter tops should be enough for meal preparation. The light switch should be located near the door. Keep a night light to brighten the way to the bathroom at night.

Flooring:
Proper flooring is very important while designing the rooms for elderly people. In bathrooms, kitchens and in utilities make sure that the floors are not slippery at all. Hence instead of vitrified tiles or mosaic tiles it is better to use rough textured ceramic tiles which gives some amount of resistance to the entire area. Put tiles up to the ceiling for the dadoes in the bathrooms so that there is no problem of wetness and regular cleaning.

Supports at all places:
While it is important to have smooth edged furniture in their rooms it is also important that proper handrails and supports are provided at all places in the house. These grab bars are most required in bathrooms and utility areas where there is chance of slipping. In stairs or in balconies also proper height of balustrade with handrails is a must.


Design an Acoustically-Friendly Interior:
Floors and ceilings are key when creating acoustically-inviting senior care interiors. Neither the hard vitrified floors nor the carpets works as a good design for seniors, since the former causes visual distress and are risk prone for their slippery surface and the latter just doesn't hold up. Soft-surface flooring hybrids such as vinyl cushion tufted textiles that look like carpet are good solutions. They also act as a means to reduce noise or echo in the rooms. To further minimize noise and stress, use sound-absorbing acoustical ceiling and wall design products.

3 comments:

Sutapa in Sanskrit means Sun said...

You may find this article interesting. Here a friendly and accessible building is not only designed for the elderly, but for small children, physically and visually impaired people.

http://www.bca.gov.sg/BarrierFree/others/AccessibilityCode2007.pdf

ananya bhaduri said...

Thanks a lot Sutapa for the link!
yes it is really interesting and useful..

Monnaie Ernakulam said...

Beautiful interior designing and interior furnishing!

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