Universal design is not just great for the elderly; it is a concept that makes working and living spaces safer and more comfortable for everyone, from the elderly to those with height or mobility challenges.
You may think retrofitting a house for aging loved ones is too expensive, but there are simple solutions you could apply. With these additions or changes, your home will be safer for everyone.
Replace traditional tubs
Walk-in tubs for elderly members of the household are safer and easier to negotiate than traditional tubs, even if you fit the latter with grab bars. For added safety, however, install grab bars by the new tub, by the bathroom sink, and by the toilet.
Use levers instead of knobs
Knobs can be a challenge to turn when your hands are slippery or if you have arthritis or some other condition that makes your hands weaker. Levers are easier to operate. Use them on your doors, windows, and faucets.
Install illuminated switches
Illuminated switches are easier to see in the dark, so there’s less fumbling or feeling for a switch. The rocker type switches are also kinder to hands than toggle types.
Make stairs less dangerous
For the old and those with certain disabilities, stairs can be very dangerous. Make sure to put sturdy and steady handrails on both sides of the staircase. The entire staircase should have enough lighting. Anti-slip stickers should be on the steps, and bright-colored stickers should define the edge of each step.
Make floors slip-resistant
There are different ways to make floors slip resistant. Carpeting is one of them. However, you should use low-pile carpeting if someone uses a cane or a walker because high-pile carpets can cause a trip-and-fall accident. Make area rugs safer by putting non-skid mats underneath.
Put a table by the door
A small table that’s about waist-high can make the simple task of opening a door safer. In case older members of your family have to rummage for keys, they can put their things on the table, reducing the chances of dropping something and having to stoop and pick it up. You should also light it properly.
There are different ways of making your home safer or suitable for everyone’s needs and conditions. With these simple additions and changes, you can make it a lot more comfortable even for your family.