Modern homes are typically designed with the young in mind but in a rapidly ageing nation, homes need to be friendly for the elderly. According to a report by the Building and Construction Authority, by 2030, one out of five Singaporeans will be over 65 years, hence it is important that homes are designed with the old in mind. To allow seniors to age gracefully, here are 3 ways how you can turn your home into an elderly-friendly space without extensive remodelling, starting with having safe flooring.
#1. Safe flooring
Slipping and falling are two major causes of injury among the elderly. According to a Bloomberg report, in the United States, one in three adults over 65 years falls each year, with one quarter of those sustaining moderate to severe injuries.
Although these statistics are for America, the same can be said for Singapore’s elderly. As an individual advances in age, the chances of slipping and falling increases. Thus it is important that flooring is safe. Consider replacing marble or ceramic floors with a safe, non-slip option like eco-resilient and or padded vinyl, especially in the bathrooms and kitchen.
Fumbling with simple everyday tasks like opening the door and making the bed can distract and unbalance a frail elderly person. In addition to making floors safe for the elderly living with you have a chair or bench nearby for sitting and or putting things down.
The Floor Gallery’s Tip: Do not place rugs in the bathing area of the bathroom or near the sink; rugs tend to curl up when they are soaked with water and may cause fatal trips and falls.
#2. Safe stairs
For older people living on more than one level, stairs can be dangerous.
If you are staying in a bungalow, penthouse and or an executive mansionette with elderly parents and or grandparents, having sturdy, non-slip stairs are important. Check that each step on every flight of stairs is solid and that there are no loose nails and or boards – these can potentially cause hurt or worse, fatal falls to your elderly family member. Fix any loose nails and boards without hesitation. Handrails are a must on both sides of the staircase.
The Floor Gallery’s Tip: Install handrails if you have yet to do so. For those who can afford the cost of maintaining an elevator, install one. Use flooring with high level of slip resistance.
#3. A well-lighted place
Ageing takes a toll on a person’s sense of sight. Always keep your place well-lighted so mom or dad, grandpa or grandma can navigate their way through the house without having to squint much and or bump into things. Light designed flooring is always recommended to keep the room bright and spacious with or without artificial lighting.
The Floor Gallery’s Tip: When night falls, leave the walkway light leading to the washroom and or kitchen on. This will help your elderly family members better navigate around the house without bumping over things that might be standing in their way.
These are some flooring ideas to make your living space elderly-friendly, there is no need to remodel and or re-design your home.