As we know, the average life expectancy is increasing globally. This means that we have an older population, where the numbers are steadily increasing!
On the one hand, this is really good, because you are more likely to have your parents and grandparents around much longer, but on the other hand there are new issues that need to be addressed to make sure that they are looked after and experience health and security in their golden years.
Interior design for the elderly is booming at the moment, solving all of the headaches that we have around the right choice of floors, doors and furniture for our senior citizens, creating a safe environment indoors. With support from families, they can remain independent and autonomous—there is no need to put them in a nursing home! But we do need to know that their home is a safe place.
In today's homify article, we are going to show you some points to consider when it comes to thinking about the interior design of the home for your parents, grandparents or even yourself! Stick with us and learn from the best.
Before we go into too much other detail, there are two things that we need to consider first: freeing spaces of obstacles as well as the personal taste of the senior inhabitants. It is very important that they participate in the design of their home, so that they feel comfortable in it!
It comes down to a matter of negotiating. If they like big sofas, it may be better for them to only have one in their home—depending on how much space that they have, so that there is enough space to walk around.
If they like carpets, we must opt for the least-treacherous and ensure that each carpet or rug features an anti-slip underneath. We don't want any falls! Falls are a major problem for senior citizens and dramatically reduces their quality of life. It is very important to do whatever we can to avoid a fall.
Cabinets and shelves need to be fixed steadily to the wall or the floor so that they can be used for support if need be, when our senior inhabitant is walking around.
Secondly, objects being stored on or in cabinets and shelves need to be easily accessible. There is no point in having them there if you need a stepladder to reach them.
You know how stubborn we all are, insisting that we still have at least 20 years left in us to do everything for ourselves? Well, our parents or grandparents are no different so it's very important to be careful with this type of storage in order to avoid accidents.
When it comes to the kitchen, there are many aspects to consider.
1. When it comes to moving around, you want to make sure that all of the corners in the kitchen are rounded so that bumping doesn't cause bruising. If you want to take care to the next level, you can also apply protectors on the corners of furniture and hard surfaces.
2. Utensils and food, especially those used every day, should be in easily accessible locations.
3. The floor should be made out of a surface that is non-slip and carpets should be avoided. You don't want a glass of water to be dropped and then for someone to slip.
4. The table, if there is one in the kitchen, should be incredibly stable. Opt for one that has four legs at each corner of the table, rather than one that has a central stand. The same goes for chairs—you want them to be steady and sturdy.
5. Consider installing a smoke detector and good ventilation in the kitchen.
6. Invest in a tea tray, which will help when it comes to carrying utensils from one room to another.
In the bathroom an anti-slip floor should be used throughout the whole space. If a bath is installed in the bathroom, there needs to be a rail to help the senior get into and out of the bath without slipping.
When it comes to the toilet, it should be placed about 10cm above the ground so that sitting down and standing up is not a difficult task. You should also place a rail near the toilet as well so that it's easy for them to lean on.
Another tip is to apply a fixed folding seat to the wall of the shower so that the senior can sit down while showering.
The shower door should be at least 80cm wide, and should be easily accessible from the rest of the bathroom.
When we think about the room of our parents or grandparents, we think about all of the old-fashioned furniture and the lace on the dressing table. But as we can see in this design by Nash Baker Architects, there are many seniors who want a modern bedroom, with a clean and minimalist design.
Regardless of the style, you need to pay attention to some points:
1. Headboard: the headboard is an important element and acts as support when sitting up in bed.
2 The height of the bed: It shouldn't be too low because you don't want to make it too difficult for someone to get into and out of the bed. The mattress should be about knee height.
3. Mattresses: We do not recommend that you use foam mattresses because they wear out more easily.
4. Bedside lighting: This should be easily accessible and you should be able to control the intensity of the lighting so that it's not too bright or too dark.
5. Bedside tables: These should be about 10cm above the height of the matress, with rounded corners. They should also be fixed to the wall.
In general, the light must be strong and easy to control. If possible, install motion sensor lights in the house, such as in the corridor.
You should also consider the height of the switches—they should not be too high or too low.
You can also read these tips on how to: Bathe your home in natural light.
Finally, we touch on the subject of balconies. When a home features a balcony, we should transform it into a comfortable veranda that is well insulated. It shouldn't be too cold or get too wet in the rain. Don't you love this little nook, by the Home Staging Factory?
When it comes to an open balcony, make sure that the floor is non-slip. You may also want to install burglar bars on the windows and doors of the balcony, as well as an alarm, as security measures.