If you are concerned about an elderly relative who’s living alone or in a facility that doesn’t appear to be meeting their needs, bringing them home to live with you can be the best solution if you have enough space and resources.
Home accessibility and safety are often roadblocks when your house wasn’t built with multigenerational living in mind.
But they don’t have to be. The number of design professionals who specialize in modifying living accommodations for seniors’ needs is rapidly growing and they can eliminate safety hazards while keeping your home fun and functional for everyone in your household.
A qualified interior designer can improve your home’s layout in ways that benefit all who live there by improving the flow within and between rooms, designing storage space that everyone can reach and eliminating obstructions that can trip anyone up, literally or figuratively.
Design for all
An interior designer who has experience modifying homes for “aging in place,” or eliminating as many barriers as possible to seniors living in their homes well into old age, also will be able to modify your home as needed.
Designers will look for ways to reduce fall risks and make room for wheelchairs as well as promote healthy actions and longevity.
They do this by reconfiguring rooms, selecting furniture and bathroom fixtures and removing obstacles while encouraging engagement with the rest of the family and nature and staying mentally active.
It helps to find someone who embraces and uses principles of universal design, which prioritizes making a physical space as accessible and appealing to as many people as possible.
This can involve adding features like zero-step entries, light switches accessible to everyone including those in wheelchairs, lever-style doorknobs and faucets, multilevel kitchen countertops and front-loading washers and dryers.
What’s most important is finding an interior designer with the compassion to sit down with your elderly loved one and learn their needs and who has the talent to translate those elements into a remodeled home that is welcoming and functional for everyone.