Decorating and designing small living spaces for seniors can be a challenge, or it can be an expression of your family. Whether your loved one is sharing a room in your family home or they live nearby in a down-sized home or apartment, taking the time to decorate and design the space with your senior’s needs in mind is a must.
A small living space can accommodate the needs of your senior while providing security, comfort and flexibility. In addition to the logistics of the room, take a moment to evaluate the use of color, light and traffic flow so that your loved one is making the most of their environment.
1. Position furniture in strategic locations.
In addition to defining the layout of the room, carefully positioned furniture can be used as guides for maintaining balance and assisting with mobility.
2. Use functional furniture.
A favorite chair with arms can help your senior help themselves when moving about the room or taking a seat.
3. Place frequently used items in waist-high locations.
Using drawers, counter tops and cabinets was waist-high level will keep seniors from using step stools or bending too far and risk losing balance.
4. Install large drawer pulls.
Large drawer pulls are easier to handle for those suffering from arthritis or mobility issues.
5. Place lamps and phones in easy-to-access locations.
By keeping phones nearby, they are easier to access and your senior may not be tempted to make a dash for the call.
6. Secure cords and cables.
Keep cords and cables behind furniture and securely taped so that they are not a trip hazard.
7. Handrails can be decorative, too.
A handrail along a bedroom wall can be incorporated into the decor by positioning as a chair rail and painting the walls a contrasting color.
8. Avoid glass table tops.
Although it’s tempting to use glass tops in small spaces, the edges may be difficult to see and can become a hazard.
9. Utilize colors and textures.
Dark colors are excellent for outlining windows and contrasting colors can define furniture throughout the home. However, avoid the use of busy prints as this can confuse the vision impaired or those suffering from dementia.
10. Use favorite furnishings.
When downsizing or helping your loved one relocate to a new home, avoid the rush to buy new linens, decorative items or furniture. It can be reassuring to your loved one to be surrounded by their favorite artwork, bedspreads, and cherished knickknacks.