These 6 Ideas for Elder-Friendly Design will help you or someone you know that needs some ideas to make their home more accessible to the older people in their lives.
Whether you want to be more comfortable, live with someone who is aging or are helping in the renovation of an older loved one, you may find yourself pondering how to make each space as accessible as possible. When someone is aging in place, comfort and mobility are key factors in their quality of life.
Designing a space with accessibility can create a sense of ease and liberation in day-to-day life. A few small changes have the potential to make a world of difference.
1. Find Practical Storage Solutions
Keeping your storage areas well organized and easy to access is essential. Low, tiny cabinets and high shelves don’t do anyone any favors. Shelving should be reachable and close to eye level. You can even experiment with pull-down shelving for smooth, easy access.
2. Set Up Multiple Levels
Using multiple levels for the surfaces in your kitchen, bathroom and all around the house is an excellent way to be ready for anything. Energy levels can sometimes be a toss-up, and if you get fatigued easily, having lower surfaces with seating nearby will allow you to continue your regular activities without standing. Multiple levels are also ideal if you need to use a walker or wheelchair.
3. Tackle Stairs with Ease
If your house has stairs, there are plenty of ways to make them easier to handle. Make sure there is a handrail available for support, and provide ample lighting beneath the treads so that you can see your footing at all times. Stairs might not be the best idea for everyone, but for those who want to continue using them, there are practical solutions available.
4. Use Intentional Bathroom Design
Bathrooms are the place for self-care, and while 3.6% of the population has trouble bathing or dressing, it’s essential to consider how to make your bathroom meet your needs. Design choices like curbless showers, detachable showerheads, lever faucets and nonslip rugs and bathmats all have the power to make your bathroom a safe place.
This Curbless Shower was created by Plank & Pillow… visit for more detail!
5. Go With Door Handles
While it might be a small fix, changing your doorknobs to handles can make a significant difference in daily comfort and mobility. Handles are easier to grip and turn. For those who have a tough time gripping knobs with accuracy — or deal with painful arthritis — handles and levers can be a great alternative.
6. Use No-Step Entrances
While this tip might not be the easiest to implement, no-step doorways and entrances are an ideal way to eliminate needless falls and slips. It’s much easier to watch your footing when moving up and down a ramp or flat surface than a step.
The Best Designs for the Aging Generation
Your home should be a place that works for you and makes you feel safe. If you’re designing a space for an older loved one or are aging in place yourself, little updates can make the experience easier and more comfortable. When your home is accessible, you can enjoy it to its full potential. 6 Ideas for Elder-Friendly Design
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