Home Design Considerations for Older People

Whether you are planning on designing a new home or turning your current one into an area you can age in place, there are plenty of ways to make it suitable for your golden years. Your home should be safe and comfortable, no matter your age. There are several ways to achieve this goal.

Designing the Stairs

It’s a good idea to eliminate the need for stairs at the main entrance, especially if you are building a new house. If you are redoing your home, you can add ramps up the main entrance. This is not necessarily the front door, although you may use this as the main entrance. And all hallways and doors should be wide enough to accommodate a walker or wheelchair. Homeowners with multiple levels may want to consider adding a home elevator as well for easy access to every level. This is especially important if your house is not set up for one-level living. When you choose this option, you can easily age in place with residential elevators.

Setting Up the Doorknobs

You can get levers and knobs designed to help you more easily open and close your doors that will still protect your home from intruders and robbers. These come in several shapes, designs, and uses. You can choose from fun designs to make even the plainest of doors look expensive and grand. Still, some designs can be difficult to operate, so take your time in deciding on the right options. You might want to go with door levers, which have a greater surface area to grasp. If you have something in both hands or are holding onto a walker, you can still use your arm to open a door. And when your hands are arthritic, it’s also easier to move the lever instead of twisting a knob.

Installing the Right Lighting

When your house is well-lit, it’s much safer and easier to get around. Seeing where you are going can prevent a bad fall. The light should be ample, but that doesn’t mean it should be glaring, as this can also affect your ability to see. Make sure that hallways, bedrooms, bathrooms, work areas, and other frequently used areas have bright light directed at the ground. Both the top and bottom of the stairs should have a switch to easily turn on the light. Look for larger switches that are easier to push quickly. While these can cost more upfront, they are often the most user-friendly option.

Planning the Interior Design

There are several factors to consider when you are redoing or building a home. For example, area rugs can be used, as long as you have non-slip pads under them to prevent tripping. You might want to avoid older rugs whose edges or corners are starting to curl up. And try to add high contrast to areas like drops in floor level. That’s because older people often find it harder to see these things. You might also find it beneficial to ensure furniture is a different color than the floor, so you can see it easier.

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