Did you know? The AARP discovered that 90% of seniors plan to stay in their own homes for the next 5-10 years. Are you one of them? If so, then you should know that research also shows only 3.8% of American houses are designed to aid seniors as they age. Consequently, this fact suggests that your house won’t help you age safely. But aging in place home modifications will. Aging in place home modifications modify your house in such a way that you can retain your independence for the rest of your life. These modifications can apply to every room in the house, such as the kitchen or bathroom. But if you’re specifically concerned with how your living room can adapt to meet your changing needs, then you need to learn how to update your living room with elderly friendly home design.
- Defining Aging in Place
- Defining Aging in Place Home Modifications
- Realizing the Lack of Elderly Friendly Design in the Living Room
- Identifying Elderly Friendly Design in the Living Room
- Outlining Examples of Elderly Friendly Design in the Living Room
- Bringing Elderly Friendly Design to the Living Room
Defining Aging in Place
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, aging in place is “The ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” The National Institute on Aging provides a more simplified solution: “Staying in your own home as you get older.”
Essentially, aging in place is living in the home you love for the rest of your life. It’s also minimizing the chance of having accidents or sustaining injuries as you care for yourself within your own home.
Continuing to live in a home that doesn’t sufficiently serve you as you get older puts you in danger. The functionality of our bodies lessens as we age. So, activities like stepping into the bathtub, going up the stairs, or even opening a door become more challenging. For this reason, you could get hurt in your own home. That is, unless you ensure that your house will help take care of you.
The only way to do so is to implement aging in place home modifications.
Defining Aging in Place Home Modifications
Aging in place home modifications empower you to successfully age in place because they redesign your house to ensure your safety and comfort. Making aging in place home modifications means remodeling your home to facilitate aging in place. You can also think of aging in place home modifications as elderly friendly home design. And with this, moving through your house and using its different components will still be effortless even when you reach old age.
However, accomplishing elderly friendly home design isn’t really something you can do on your own. In fact, we don’t recommend making any aging in place home modifications without the guidance of a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS). A CAPS has years of focused education and training under their belt, and with such expertise, they are solely qualified to redesign homes for seniors.
Realizing the Lack of Elderly Friendly Design in the Living Room
As we persevere through the years, utilizing our homes grows more difficult. You’ll find barriers to your independence in every room. But in the living room in particular, you’ll literally encounter obstacles in your path.
These obstacles include large pieces of furniture crafted for relaxation, such as couches and chairs. Ottomans, coffee tables, side tables, and cabinets can also keep you from maneuvering through the room smoothly. As our legs lose their strength or even require the assistance of a walker or wheelchair, these furniture items will inhibit our movement.
Another problem with living rooms lacking elderly friendly design is the floor itself. Regardless of how much furniture threatens to bump your legs or feet, the flooring can trip you up on its own. Slippery tiles, sleek stone, thick carpet, or curling rugs can all interfere with your balance enough to cause you to fall. Door curbs can also be problematic for your stability.
Living rooms can also leave you feeling unsteady with a lack of lighting. Without extra windows or layers of artificial lighting, a living room can be dark enough to have you fumbling around. You won’t feel any more sure of yourself in the space if managing the living room lighting involves toggle light switches and heavy curtains.
These descriptions exemplify just a few of the hazards that are waiting to happen in a typical living room. So, an aging in place living room acknowledges these and other potential struggles and uses elderly friendly design to eliminate them.
Identifying Elderly Friendly Design in the Living Room
Elderly friendly design in the living room determines what an older person intends to do in the living room and what they are actually able to do. Then, it transforms the space in such a way that the space supports the elderly’s normal lives. When a living room features elderly friendly design, older individuals can still do everything they used to do in the living room when they were younger.
An elderly friendly design in the living room keeps seniors on their feet and free from pain with wide walkways, well-spaced furniture, slip-resistant flooring, and plenty of storage for containing clutter. It’s also well-lit and technologically advanced so that the elderly don’t have to do so much on their own.
And though elderly friendly design in the living room prioritizes safety and functionality, suitable aesthetics is another one of its primary goals. When you team up with a CAPS to equip your living room to meet your new needs, you can rest assured that they will also enhance your living room with stylish shapes, colors, textures, and materials that adhere to your personal tastes. With elderly friendly design in the living room, you’ll treasure how your living room looks and performs for the rest of your days.
Outlining Examples of Elderly Friendly Design in the Living Room
Elderly friendly design addresses all areas of the living room. A CAPS can distinguish exactly which aging in place home modifications you need, but most living rooms require some of the following updates:
- An extended living area with ample space to use canes, crutches, walkers, or wheelchairs
- A slip- or trip-resistant flooring like low pile carpet or hardwood floors
- Built-ins that hold significant objects, eradicate clutter, and clear up floor space
- A custom entertainment center that organizes and conceals electronics
- A big screen TV or a projector and screen mounted to the wall
- Plenty of artificial lighting including chandeliers, recessed lighting, pendant lighting, and display lighting
- Motorized or manual window blinds
- Raised sockets around the room and throughout the house
- An upgraded HVAC system
- A fireplace insert or masonry fireplace
Bringing Elderly Friendly Design to Your Living Room
In order for you to stay in your current house as long as you like, your house must promote your current lifestyle. Your house has to be ready for you to age, and it only will be with aging in place home modifications. Enacting aging in place home modifications necessitates the know-how of a CAPS, so you shouldn’t attempt aging in place remodeling without one.
And thankfully, you can find a CAPS in northeast Ohio at BenchMark Home Services. BenchMark is a branch of Cpaozzi Design Build, and Anne Capozzi is both the owner and a CAPS. With her guidance, we can infuse your living room with the perfect amount of elderly friendly design that is both beautiful and beneficial.
The BenchMark team has decades of experience as well as a glowing reputation for excellence, professionalism, and compassion.
BenchMark is headquartered in the greater Cleveland area. So, our service areas encompass the following communities:
- Pepper Pike
- Chagrin Falls
- Gates Mills
- Cleveland Heights
- University Heights
- Willoughby Hills
- Boston Heights
- Hunting Valley
- Moreland Hills
- Shaker Heights
After BenchMark has upgraded your living room with elderly friendly design, you can enjoy it for the rest of your days and age in place successfully. So, contact us to receive your living room aging in place home modifications!