“Growing old has been the greatest surprise of my life.” – Billy Graham
For most this may seem true - old age often comes as a surprise. As a son or daughter, you may not have realized the challenges your ageing parents are facing on a daily basis. It may be that first fall, first heart attack or the first signs of trouble in seeing, that tell you the truth you’d avoided acknowledging all along – your parents are ageing. Advanced years are unsparing in the way they can treat your loved ones. But with the right care, atmosphere and surroundings, you can make it a lot more comfortable for them.
7 Ideas To Design A Comfortable Room For Your Ageing Parents!
Some simple design changes can be quickly incorporated to make life safer and more comfortable for the elderly. As you will see, these changes do not necessarily mean compromising on aesthetics.
Let’s learn how these simple ideas can transform an ordinary room into a space your parents will love to live in.
... And we do know, that you'd need to refer this again. So, we do have a visual guide at the end, you can download and save for later reference.
Design Idea #1. Use Attractive Color Schemes
Elderly people tend to spend a lot of time in their bedrooms. Hence, it’s worthwhile to choose a colour scheme that’ll keep up their mood and also help them differentiate easily between different surfaces and sections of the room.
Use warm or rich shades of brown, gold, orange and yellow ochre. Ensure the colour scheme isn’t too dull or boring and also not over-stimulating to the eye. If they have favourites, incorporate that!
Design Idea #2. Choose a Bed of Optimal Height
The most important element of the bedroom is, of course, the bed! With growing age, it gets hard to sit too low and hence it is advisable to use a bed of optimal height.
The recommended bed height is 20 to 23 inches high from the floor to top of the mattress. A handlebar to support them rise from the bed can be a good additional accessory.
Make sure the bed height is appropriate for your parent’s height. When they sit on the bed, their feet should rest on the ground without over-arching the knee i.e. the knee should be at right angles to the floor. This is a good checkpoint.
One can always change the thickness of the mattress to make small height adjustments.
Design Idea #3. Use Slip-Resistant Flooring
The greatest injury risk to the elderly is posed by an unnecessary fall which can in-turn cause serious complications. To avoid this, get rid of the smooth tile flooring and use anti-skid flooring techniques such as laminates and wood.
Another option is to go for carpeting throughout the room. Avoid small carpets and foot rugs as they are potential trip hazards.
Design Idea #4. Provide Enough Room To Walk
Avoid furniture clutter - this will make space. Place the wardrobes in one corner and don’t hoard sofas, tables and other furniture in this room. Keep the areas clear where your parents have to walk up to the bed or walk to the washroom.
Include minimal pieces of furniture such as side tables, a chest of drawers and perhaps a table or reading chair depending on their habits.
Grip mats on the bathroom floor are also very helpful.
Design Idea #5. Let The Sun Come In
Letting a good amount of sunlight into the room of elderly parents is vital for their good health. It keeps pathogens and moulds away, which is very helpful for people with respiratory problems.
Apart from natural lighting, ensure there is a good amount of artificial lighting too. Bedside lamps and dim night lamps can be very convenient while giving them a sense of safety.
Reading lights should be white lights placed around the area designated for reading.
Design Idea #6. Add a Bit of Greenery, Add Hope
Nurturing, caring and watching green plants grow is a proven mood enhancer. It builds hope and relieves stress. Plus, it can be a great way to spend time. Green is a very soothing colour and it’s good for the eyes.
Plants like Aloe Vera, Snake Plant, English Ivy and Peace Lily act as natural air purifiers while looking great indoors.
Remember placing one or two small plants in a big bedroom is just fine. If there’s an attached balcony area where plants can be kept, that’s even better.
Design Idea #7. Within A Hand’s Reach
Considering their age, make sure there are some things always within a hand’s reach. Use a convenient side table or drawer to keep these things. We’ve already mentioned that a bedside lamp is a must which they can operate easily from the bed.
A phone with emergency call buttons, medicines, water and some ready to eat snacks must be visibly placed in these drawers. Ensure drawer and door handles are lever type instead of knob type, so it is easy to operate.
In general, use devices that need minimum operational effort.
Last but not the least, personalize their room with favourite family photographs, so they always have reason to cheer! Many other small changes can be incorporated such as installing handrails on both sides of the stairs, grab bars in the bathroom, flexible bathroom showers and so on. These small changes will make your parents feel loved and cared for.
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If you still have questions or need more ideas on how to elder-proof your parent’s bedroom, don’t forget to Contact Hipcouch today!
Here's a quick Visual Guide, you can download to refer later and share