How to Furnish the Living Space for the Elderly

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It's pretty standard for people to live with their parents as they age. Even if your parents don't want to move in with you, you still want to know that they're safe in their home. When they're struggling with health or mobility issues (the chances are they do after a certain age), you're going to need to ease out their efforts.

If your parents still live on their own, it's better that they live in a smaller space. It's more comfortable and more effective to furnish a small space. The risk for a small area to clutter is lower, and you want the space to be neat and clean- it's a lot safer when it's clutter-free! Not only that clutter doesn't look nice, but it can also be dangerous!

 

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Creating a safe and pleasantly looking space for your parent's area isn't very difficult. You should pay attention to their current needs, nevertheless. As long as they have the energy for it, you should also bring them along when shopping for furniture. They know best what they need so they can give you the perfect input when buying.

Without any further ado, let’s see which are the main aspects to remember when you go shopping for furniture for your old parents.

What’s the floor like?

 

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You should begin by taking a look at the floors. Are there many throw rugs? If so, it's best that you get rid of them as they're a cause for falls as your parents slip. If they cannot do it without a rug, try to buy a non-skid rug liner. Make sure that they stay in place with some double-sided tape. 

When you're looking for seating furniture, some rules are essential to keep in mind:

  • You want all the furniture to be comfortable to get in/out of. Always choose the size of the sofas/chairs that match the size of the person using the furniture. You want deeper seating for a tall person, whereas a petite one is going to enjoy a shallower seat. If one is dealing with some bad knees or finds it challenging to rise out of a seated position, a narrow or shallow place is also a better choice.
  • Always take a look into recliners. They are great for sleeping when one is dealing with breathing difficulties. You should also consider the recliner when the elderly has to elevate the legs for improving the circulation.
  • Lift chairs are a great piece of furniture for many people, not only for the elderly. 

Why use lift chairs?

 

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Lift chairs are medical equipment, and they do resemble the recliners a lot. They come with many features and offer various positions. The most crucial difference between lift chairs and recliners is that the lift chairs feature a robust lifting system which makes the tilting of the base and the back of possible. It's going to help the user get back to a standing position. The lift chair typically comes with a remote, and the user presses the buttons and doesn't have to operate a lever or a switch like in the case of recliners.

Lift chairs come in a great diversity of styles and sizes. They can be made with various materials and include numerous functions (heat and massage are highly appreciated). You can customize it to one's specific needs, which makes them an excellent choice for older adults.

People having difficulties going from the seated position to the standing one on the cause of balance or mobility problems are going to benefit the lift chairs. Anyone struggling with back pain, sore joints, arthritis or various health conditions can enjoy the support and comfort that lift chairs are capable of providing.

  • You should look for the upholstery that is easy to clean. Even if vinyl seems like the right choice, it's best to avoid it as it can get slippery, especially when someone has balance problems. You may go with microfiber instead.

How are the beds supposed to be?

Older adults are going to appreciate an adjustable bed a lot as it gives them the option of choosing the best position. The adjustable bed is also a sure choice for people dealing with breathing and circulation issues.

Look for the cushioned bases and the upholstered headboards as they count a lot for the comfort. Pay attention when selecting the mattress as it's fundamental for ensuring excellent support.

What types of tables work best?

Tables with rounded edges or round tables are a great choice as they present a low risk for injuries. They have no sharp edges; therefore the chance for bumping into the sharp corners is null.

No matter the purpose of the table, you want it to have the proper height for the person that is going to use the table. 

Even though glass tables look fancy and seem like an excellent option, try to stay away from them. They're not that safe for the seniors.

What lighting options work best for older adults?

You should never skip the lighting matter as good lighting is fundamental for safety and daily activities. Place any lamps in places where there is no risk for them to fall or pose any other type of danger:

  • You should install the lights close to the outlets with no extension cords whatsoever. You should always avoid the extension cords as they're risky for the underfoot.
  • When you’re using floor lamps, look for the models with a sturdy base. Place them on a sturdy piece of furniture as you can never be too sure.

How to address the storage matter?

We all need storage space, and the elderly make no exception. You want the storage to be easy to access. Under the bed storage is rarely a good idea for a senior as it involves a lot of bending and working under the bed. 

Here are some tips on storage solutions:

  • Start by securing all shelves and bookcases to the wall. Use some safety straps to fasten them and to eliminate the risk of tip-overs. You want access to the shelves to be comfortable and to keep the shelves clutter-free.
  • Look for the dressers with drawers that slide out friendly and easy. They should feature handles for more straightforward operation, nevertheless.

What about other accessories?

 

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Pillows, chairs, and stools are essential in an elderly's home:

  • Install some grab bars in the bathroom 
  • Buy several stable and robust step stools. They help reach high shelves or various storage spaces.
  • Buy an excellent selection of pillows as they can increase the comfort on chairs, sofas, and beds. Make sure that they have a soft texture for the cover.
  • It’s best that you buy the bath chairs/stools from the medical supply stores.

One last thought

No matter your final choices, you should always place it so that it eases out the movement around the space. This rule is fundamental especially when the elderly is using a wheelchair.

You should overcrowd the furniture either, and you should never place it near exists. Now you're good to go!

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Any questions or propositions?