Let’s face it. We get clumsy with age. According to the National Council on Aging, among elderly adults, the most common fatal and non-fatal traumatic injury is falls. Interior design tips can help.
Being a senior doesn’t necessarily mean that you are bound to fall. There are many reasons for our clumsiness. Sudden symptoms from things like heart disease, respiratory disease, and osteoporosis can definitely cause us to fall.
However, those are not always the cause. Seniors tend fall more often than not due to clutter, stairs, and slippery floors.
Since these are types of fall that we can prevent, we have put together helpful interior design tips for safe navigation in your home.
Lighting is Key
Trying to move blindly through a space is challenging for anyone. Imagine blindfolding yourself and walking through a maze. You’d hit a wall about every five seconds. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound very fun to me.
Now imagine being blindfolded while walking through your home. Think about all the pieces of furniture you could kick, bump, and even flip over. This is why having decent lighting throughout every room is the most important tip on this post!
Have a lamp around every corner that doesn’t have a light switch for the room. If you’re in a room that has a light switch on the opposite side of the room, such as your bedroom, put a lamp nearby that can help guide the way to the light switch.
Natural lighting is always a plus as well. One, because during the day it helps you to use less electricity. And two, because it of course adds more light to the space.
Clear Your Path
Hallways are the perfect trap for bumping into things. Hallways are usually very narrow spaces that we feel the need to place bulky tables and decoration. Instead of trying to maneuver through the chaos, clear your hallway.
Doing this leaves less room for hurting yourself and ultimately falling, and more room for walking.
Interior Design Tips for Your Living Room
There are many things you can do to your living room to make it more navigable. First, start off by giving yourself seating options. What I mean by this is choose about three main pieces that allow you to change how you sit.
Of course, you have your comfy couch, but add a firm arm chair so you have a variety of surfaces. You might also want to add a reclining chair. That way you have a comfortable solution to relax on those days you’re feeling sore.
Be sure that when you are placing furniture in a space to not over do it. If the area simply doesn’t allow you to have three big pieces, don’t force them to fit. If you avoid clutter, you will avoid falls.
Attempt to find round side tables rather than square or rectangle tables. The reason for this tip is that it always hurts much more ramming your leg or hip into a corner than it does when you hit a rounder edge.
A great alternative to a rectangle coffee table is an oversized ottoman. You can place a decorative try on it to make up for the loss of the coffee table. Cushioned ottomans are also great because if you do ever hit your leg on in, it won’t hurt at all.
Find the Right Floorplan
The best floorplan for us aging adults is a flat one. The less hazard for tripping the better. So, try to eliminate the using the stairs in your home if you aren’t confident you’ll make it to the top.
Like I’ve said in a past post, I’m an advocate for using the stairs to get some exercise in for the day, but if it means risking injury, just avoid them.
Last but Certainly Not Least
The bathroom. The easiest place of all to experience a fall. Even though, the changes to a bathroom to prevent falling are obvious, I still feel obligated to mentioned them.
However unappealing they may be, install grab bars near your toilet and in your shower. These alone could be a life saver.
Slipping in the shower is not fun! Especially if you are elderly and can’t help yourself back up. Get a non-slip rubber bath mat to place in the floor of your shower.
Also, try to prevent yourself from having to get on your tip toes to reach something. Place everything at an easy to reach level to ensure that you aren’t straining your back. Thus, preventing a fall.
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