Safety considerations when designing your home

The design of your home should reflect the needs of all the occupants. If you're living in a multi-generational home where your children and elderly parents live with you, you've got to ensure that your home is safe and comfortable for them all. Here are our recommendations:

Interior design by Collective Designs

- Floor tiles should be non-slip and resistant to fungus or mold.
- Use non-slip grid mats if re-tiling is not an option.

- Separate your bathroom into wet and dry areas to reduce the risk of slipping.
- Install hospital quality grab bars alongside the shower stall and toilet area at elbow level for support.
- Taps should be come with levers, which are easier to use as it does not require much finger strength.

Interior design by Mu Dian

- Use textured tiles to avoid slipping.

Have continuous kitchen counters that will allow the elderly to slide heavy kitchen equipment across the space instead of having to pick them up.
- Important appliances should be placed at eye-level to minimise reaching, bending, and stooping.
- Instead of gas stoves, use induction hobs. The lack of open flame is safer for both children and your elder.

- Incorporate pull-out drawers and rotating carousels into your kitchen to avoid having to reach deep into cabinets for something.
- Drawers and doors should be installed with soft-close hinges for ease of use and to prevent the clipping of fingers.

Use melamine utensils and dining ware instead of glass, as they are lighter and less prone to breaking.

- Carpets and rugs should have non-slip coatings, or be tacked down.
- The floor should be even throughout the house, as sudden changes in levels can result in unforeseen falls.
- Exposed electrical cords should be tucked away to reduce clutter and curb the risk of tripping.

- Avoid low seats as they make standing up difficult.
- Choose sofas with firm cushions and armrests for better support.

Interior design by Mong Design Studio

Rest Area
- The height of your elder relative’s bed should not be lower than the knee. Vary mattress thickness or use raisers at the base legs of the bed to counter this issue.
- Install a handrail by the bed for better mobility assistance.
- Bedside tables are useful for placing medicine, spectacles and other necessities. This makes sure that the items are always within reach.

- Fumbling around in the dark can be dangerous. Install light switches by the bed and door for easy access.
- Keep a clear route between rooms and use a night light to illuminate the path and reduce the possibility of falls.

The measures seem extensive, but creating a secure household for your loved ones is one investment that will definitely pay off.