Making a home age-friendly involves creating a living space that is safe, comfortable, and accessible for people as they grow older. Here are some tips and modifications you can consider to make a home more age-friendly:
Remove Tripping Hazards:
Ensure that floors are free of clutter, loose rugs, and other items that could be tripping hazards. Use non-slip mats and secure rugs with double-sided tape.
Increase the lighting throughout the home to prevent falls. Install brighter bulbs, use task lighting where needed, and consider motion-sensor lights in key areas like hallways and bathrooms.
Ensure that the main living areas, bedroom, and bathroom are on the same level to minimize the need for stairs. If stairs are present, consider installing sturdy handrails on both sides.
Install grab bars near toilets and in showers or bathtubs to assist with stability. A walk-in shower with a built-in seat can be more accessible than a traditional bathtub.
Organize kitchen items to be within easy reach, avoiding the need to bend or reach overhead. Consider lever-style handles for faucets and cabinet pulls, which are easier to operate for those with reduced hand strength.
Choose a comfortable mattress and ensure the bed is at a height that’s easy to get in and out of. Bedside tables with reachable storage can be helpful.
If possible, consider widening doorways to accommodate mobility aids like wheelchairs or walkers.
Incorporate smart home technology, like voice-activated assistants or remote-controlled lights, to make it easier to control the environment.
Choose flooring materials that are non-slip, especially in areas prone to moisture like bathrooms and kitchens.
Replace traditional knobs and handles with lever-style handles, which are easier to grasp and manipulate.
Emergency Response System:
Consider installing an emergency response system or wearable alert device to summon help in case of accidents or emergencies.
Ramps and Lifts:
If there are steps leading to the entrance, consider installing a ramp or a lift to facilitate entry.
Grab Bars and Railings:
Install grab bars and railings in hallways, staircases, and other areas where stability is needed.
Open Floor Plans:
If feasible, create an open floor plan that allows for easy movement and reduces the feeling of confinement.
Ensure that pathways are smooth and well-lit outside the home. Consider installing handrails for outdoor steps.
Contrast and Color:
Use contrasting colors to differentiate surfaces, like steps and edges, to improve visibility.
Arrange furniture in a way that provides clear pathways and minimizes obstacles.
Keep up with home maintenance to address any safety concerns promptly.
Remember, the specific modifications you make will depend on the individual’s needs and preferences. It’s also a good idea to involve the person who will be using the space to ensure that the modifications align with their requirements. Consulting with professionals like occupational therapists or interior designers experienced in creating age-friendly spaces can be very helpful in designing the most suitable environment. Given the large number of homes in Hua Hin that sell off-plan, you might want to consider requesting some of these features as part of your home build in order to future proof for later years.
Feel free to contact us with any comments, questions or suggestions!