Your home doesn’t have to stay the same. Why not consider some changes that will enhance your life, especially if you or a loved one has less mobility because of age or disease? You can live in a beautiful, safe space if you make some intentional changes.
Hazards and Helps
Area rugs can tie furnishings and colors together in a room, but they can also be a source of falls among older adults. “I love a great accent rug, but it’s not worth catching a walker or cane on as someone is trying to navigate their home,” Summer says. “I would also suggest arranging any tables or small pieces of furniture in a way that those with mobility issues could easily get around. That may mean from a design standpoint it doesn’t look aesthetically perfect, but safety is first and foremost.”
She also suggests adding circular furnishings or decor, which is easy on the eyes. Plus, when it comes to tables, a circular shape eliminates sharp edges that may nick a person’s knee or shin, causing bruising and bleeding.
TIP: Add grab bars in shower surrounds. And add an iron handrail at the front porch or entry steps. While you’re at it, you can add a Ring doorbell or camera to monitor people approaching the home.
Let Light In
A small change that can make a big difference to a person’s space is to add in more light by removing heavy drapes or by adding more lamps with natural daylight bulbs. “Bringing in natural light will not only help an older person navigate their home but will also improve their mood,” Summer says. “We sometimes use sheers or a lighter fabric like linen instead of thick curtains to still bring beauty into a room without leaving it too bare.”
By Carrie Vittitoe | Photos by Beazy and Suhyeon Choi
P.S. You may also enjoy this article “A Room Is Not A Room Without Natural Light.” ~ Louis Kahn, Architect