Do you have an elderly occupant in your home? You might need to make a few changes in the home, so that these folks can age comfortably.
With the help of Cai Shuqi, an occupational therapist at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, and Edmund Lee from The Able Studio, a retail pharmacy for elderly-friendly retrofits which feature mock-ups of what makes an elderly-friendly kitchen, toilet, and bathroom, we've identified some stylish features homeowners of all ages will appreciate.
This includes the built-in bench in the bathroom, as well as towel racks which can double as grab bars for balance (specific grip diameters, based on the person’s hand, is recommended).
More tips here:
(See through cabinet doors, with low handles that are easy to reach. image: DHD NYC)
Save energy and time looking for things when you can see what’s inside the cabinets.
SLIDING WARDROBE DOORS
Not only do these save space, but those with weak grips will also need to exert less force and grip to open the doors.
PULL OUT WARDROBE RACKS
Designed at an accessible height, racks that slide outwards will require less stretching and rummaging through clothes.
BUILT-IN BATHROOM BENCH
Older folks need more rest breaks between tasks, such as during showers or cooking. Caregivers can also shower their patients easily if there is a place for the elderly to sit on.
Natural lighting is good. Complement this with lightcoloured walls, and bulbs that emit white light at high luminosity – these are ideal for reading and working.
Wheelchair users generally require more space to move around, such as in getting from wheelchair to shower area in the bathroom. This space should also be able to fit more than one person, so caregivers can help their patients with ease.
The bigger the better. For instance, rocker switch panels are big enough to see, and require little effort to push – ideal for those with arthritis.
(image: The Siple Life)
SPACE UNDER THE SINK
Wheelchair users can move themselves closer to the sink, making it easier to wash dishes and reach for the tap.
These are easy to move around when needed. Ensure that they are not too heavy.
Consider how the person manages knobs. Levers or handles, for both doors and taps, that need only be pushed up and down are preferred over knobs that have to be turned.