Interior Design Preferences of Older Adults


While not all of us can invest in designing a perfect place for older adults, there are a few little design tweaks that can ensure every senior has a safer and easier life. If you look at senior care homes, you can see plenty of interesting and easy ways that will provide seniors with a pleasant yet stylish life. Take a look.

Words: Lillian Connors

Slip-free floors
The first thing you should consider is the danger that lurks underfoot. As we age, our balance deteriorates, so slips can be quite dangerous. The easiest way to prevent falls is to add nonskid mats under area rugs or ditching rugs completely. By eliminating rugs, you can also prevent trips, so it’s a two-in-one solution. Thresholds can also be eliminated easily, especially in the interior rooms, but you can also reduce their height. Low-pile carpets are also perfect for people who use walkers to get around. Deep-pile can cause walkers to catch and cause falls.1Easy doorknobs
Not many people think about the effort that goes into turning a doorknob, but it can require serious effort and even pain for someone with arthritis or similar conditions. Replacing doorknobs with regular lever-style models is a cheap yet practical investment for homes and senior care facilities. You can also replace faucets for levers and ditch knob light switches for rockers or toggle switches.2Layered lighting
While we’re on the subject of lighting, every dark room is hiding a potential slip, bump or a fall, especially entryways, hallways and stairs. It’s no wonder, then, that modern aged care facilities are designed to be filled with light to prevent injuries, but also promote the feeling of wellbeing. If you often feel down and suffer from depression, insufficient lighting might be the one to blame, at least partially. So, do what respectable facilities do and illuminate your space. General lighting combined with strong task lighting will ensure every activity is showered in light.

Easy to climb stairs
Older people who live two or more levels often dread stairs. They can be especially dangerous and exhausting, so handrails are a must, preferably on both sides of the staircase. These can give your space a note of sophistication while keeping you safe and comfortable. Another thing you can do to ensure a safer climb and descent are defining stairs. Clearly visible and separated steps will show you exactly where the edge is, even if your vision is impaired. There are cheap stickers you can get that will mark each stair and prevent missteps.4Practical bathrooms
If you want to make your showers and baths safer and easier, you can invest in grab bars which are a must in every senior care facility. These make getting in and out of your bath more practical and they add a note of elegance to your bathroom, especially if you opt for stainless steel bars. Adding them to your wall by the toilet is also a great idea for when you need a helping hand. If you can replace your baths with step-in showers, you will not regret your decision—they are much more practical. Combine a step-in shower with a hand-held showerhead and you’ll have a winner combination that also looks stylish.5Welcoming entryways
Checking your pockets for keys while you hold packages or mail can be quite distracting and unbalancing when you’re entering or exiting your home. So, besides good lighting, every good entryway will benefit from a practical table or a bench for resting or putting things down. These also add aesthetic appeal to your entrance and make it look well-designed and thought-out.

These easy design ideas will not only improve the look of every home but also ensure that seniors living there have a safe and pleasant stay.