When you have an elderly parent living in your home, you want to make sure that their bedroom is as safe and comfortable as possible. The right design can help ensure their safety, as well as their comfort and wellbeing.
Creating an ideal bedroom for an elder requires several considerations, from a functional layout to color palettes that work with their changing needs and abilities. Here are some tips to help you make a room suitable for your senior loved one:
Choose an Area of the House that Is Easy to Access
Ideally, bedrooms should be on the main floor. This way, seniors can walk to other areas of the house that require access to a toilet or a bathroom. If the bedroom is located on a second or third floor, families may consider installing a stair lift to make the journey easier for the senior.
In addition to making the trip up and down the stairs less daunting, a stair lift can also be a handy tool for emergency exits. The lift’s perch-style seat provides the added safety of an elevated position and is often a convenient place to put on and take off shoes.
Keep Furniture and Decor Simple
As a general rule, the bedroom should have only the essential pieces of furniture. This includes a bed, a reading chair, a chest of drawers and a small desk for writing and computer use.
This helps the elder to move around the bedroom easily, without bumping into or tripping over furniture or decorations. It also makes the room more aesthetically appealing.
Choose a Color Scheme That Is Easy for the Elder to See and Feel
As people age, they begin to have problems seeing colors in their environments. To ensure the elderly can see clearly in the bedroom, consider choosing color schemes that are easy for them to view. This can be done by selecting soothing, cool shades like lilac or blue.
Install Low-Pile Carpeting and Firm Padding
The right flooring can make a difference in the overall comfort of a senior’s bedroom. Low-pile, wall-to-wall carpeting is soft and traction-friendly. But be sure to avoid sculptured carpet patterns or area rugs, which can be slippery and cause tripping accidents.
Fix any rises or dips in the flooring and add safety strips for a tripping-hazard-free environment. Hardwood floors are also safer, but they need regular refinishing and upkeep.
Invest in lighting for the room and throughout the house, including adequate natural and ambient lights. This is important for seniors who need to read or watch TV, as well as those who are trying to navigate their way to the bathroom at night.
Aside from lighting, the room should have a good air flow to prevent mold and mildew from building up. For example, adding a ceiling fan or installing automated window coverings can increase the amount of air circulation and reduce humidity levels.
In addition, make sure to include an intercom system in the bedroom and bathroom that allows the senior to summon help from any location in the house. This can be an alternative to a cell phone or landline and is an excellent way for the elder to contact their loved ones in case of an emergency.