As our parents grow older, their needs and preferences change, and creating a safe, comfortable, and functional living space becomes important for their well-being. If you’re looking to design a room for your elderly parents, there are several key considerations to keep in mind. Here, we will provide you with some helpful tips on how to design a room that caters to the specific needs of your elderly parents.
Safety should be the foremost concern when designing a room for elderly parents. Install grab bars in the bathroom and near the bed to assist with mobility. You can also get rid of the platform bed in your parents bedroom and opt for a heightened bed. This makes it easier for them to get into it. The standard approximate height of the bed will be 25 inches, but you make sure it suits your parents as this height tends to change with others. Also, ensure that the flooring is slip-resistant and remove any potential hazards, such as loose rugs or cluttered pathways. Having a slip-resistant mat ensures that your parents can move easily without any accidents. It also makes your elder parents’ room comfortable and cozy. Additionally, consider installing adequate lighting to minimise the risk of accidents.
Make sure that the room is easily accessible for your elderly parents. Opt for wide doorways and corridors that can accommodate walkers, wheelchairs, or other mobility aids. Place frequently used items within reach and organise the room in a way that minimises the need for unnecessary movement.
Choose furniture that offers comfort and support. Opt for chairs and sofas that have firm cushions and have proper backs and armrests. Consider using electric recliners that can assist with sitting and standing. Additionally, incorporate furniture with smooth, rounded edges to prevent any accidents or injuries. The furniture should be placed in such a manner that it is not too far away from the bed, and it should not obstruct their walking path. Do not add unnecessary furniture or decor. There should be a side table with drawers for medicines, a bedside lamp, and particularly, make sure that all the switches are easy to access.
A smooth surface or piece of furniture is not the only danger for your elderly parents. As our vision deteriorates with age, it becomes crucial to enhance the lighting in the room. Make use of bright, natural light and supplement it with task lighting where necessary. Install nightlights to aid in navigating the room during the night. You can also install guide lights in the room, making a path to their bathrooms in case they need to go to their bath or toilet at night. A night guide light will help them have a good vision of their floor, even if they don’t want to switch on the main lights. Additionally, use contrasting colour combinations to improve visibility, such as dark-coloured furniture against light-coloured walls.
Create a soothing and calming atmosphere in the room. Opt for soft, neutral colours that promote relaxation. Use curtains or blinds that allow for proper control of natural light. Make sure you do not have loud patterns or prints and instead have warm, soft tones. Incorporate comfortable bedding, pillows, and blankets to ensure a good night’s sleep. Also, when installing items such as door handles and knobs, use lever handles and knobs that are larger in size and can be opened with minimal effort. This makes things comfortable for the elderly.
The bathroom is a space that requires special attention in terms of safety and accessibility. To make the bathroom safe for the elderly, install a raised toilet seat or grab bars to aid in sitting and standing. Place non-slip mats in the shower or bathtub area to prevent slips. Consider adding a shower seat, wooden benches that do not have sharp edges in the bathroom, or a handheld showerhead for added convenience.
Consider integrating smart technology into the room to enhance safety and convenience. Smart devices such as voice-activated assistants, motion sensor lights, and emergency call systems can provide added security and ease of use.
Designing a room for your elderly parents requires thoughtful consideration of their specific needs and preferences. By prioritising safety, accessibility, comfort, and visibility, you can create a space that promotes their well-being and independence. With these tips in mind, you can design a room that not only meets their physical requirements but also provides a cosy and inviting environment for them to enjoy. If needed, get the help of an interior designer who will ensure a pleasant atmosphere for your elderly parents.