Good design improves quality of life!
Here are 5 design tips that will typically affect your ability to stay in your home. Our team of professionals will address these and others that may affect you. We'll then develop a customized approach for making your home the best it can be for Aging@Home.
#1: Stay safe on steps and stairs!
Alternatives to steps can dramatically increase the livability of your home.
When most people think about aging in the family home, the first hurdle that comes to mind is usually steps. One solution is shifting to first-floor living, with few or no steps from the outside to the inside. Ramps are most often suggested, but if the slope is slight, it’s sometimes possible to regrade a sidewalk to allow a step-less entrance into the home.
If first-floor living isn’t possible, then stair glides are a good solution to getting safely to a second floor. You may not need it today, or every day, but it can help avoid unnecessary risks.
#2: Bathroom hazards
Bathrooms top the list of dangerous places in the home.
Emergency rooms in the US see some 600 people a day due to accidental injuries in the bathroom. As our age increases, so do our chances of getting hurt in a bathroom. As a result, modifying bathrooms to have higher toilets, no-step entries into showers, appropriate-height vanities, and easy-to-reach storage becomes very important.
Yes, there is a lot we can do other than simply installing a grab bar - though we handle those, too!
#3: Too full to function?
Clear walkways increase safety and independence.
Most of us don’t like to deal with “stuff” which is why our houses are so full of it! A clear space, with no tripping hazards, can minimize hospital visits or prevent a permanent move to a personal care home. Sorting through family treasures while you are able can also mean watching younger generations of in family enjoy those treasures in your lifetime.
If you're overwhelmed at the idea of sorting through a life-time of belongings, Senior Homes by Design can help. Our team includes professionals in organizing and finding new homes for unwanted items.
#4: Can you reach?
Reachable storage increases independent living.
Being able to access items in the kitchen or closets, without the use of a step-ladder, means people can stay independent longer. New organizational features allow for pull-down shelves in upper kitchen cabinets and pull out drawers to replace the fixed shelves in base cabinets. In closets, lowering closet rods for easy access to hanging clothes and adding shelves for things like folded sweaters and shoes eliminates the need to reach up high or bend down low.
#5: Do you have enough light?
Good lighting throughout the home is critical.
The average 60-year old needs three times the light as a 20-year old, in order to see clearly. Shrinking pupil size is a key reason as is reduced peripheral vision, glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts, Installing light switches at the entrance to every space, passageway lighting and at least three lamps in a room, will greatly improve visibility. Controlling glare with appropriate window coverings will also help.