Ever wondered what’s the difference between a home and a house? A house is just a physical building. A home is the place where you or your family lives.
A home is supposed to make you feel belonged, feel cared for and most importantly feel protected from more than just sand, sun and dust.
But what if the home, that you lived all your life, poses a great threat as you age? Can you still call it your home?
Falls in seniors is considered as an epidemic. In fact, it is one of the most leading causes for disturbing the quality of life, disability in seniors, and sometimes even the cause of fatality.
Falls in Seniors – Numbers Don’t Lie
- India is among the top countries with most number of falls in seniors in a year
- 14%-53% seniors in India above 60 experience falls
- The global fall prevalence percentage is between 28%-35%
- About 68% elders who experienced a fall might require surgical management
- The fatality rate due to falls is about 12%
The numbers are scary and at the same time showcase the vulnerable conditions our seniors are forced to deal with. Literally, everyday!
Even though the consequences of a fall can be severe, preventing falls is easy. All it takes is making simple changes to your current house to make it a home. All these changes are minor and nothing structural.
Design for Aging: The Fall Prevention Measure Everyone Should Consider
There are many ways you can sensibly craft your elders’ abode to make it a perfect haven that provides a seamless aging experience. And, design for aging exactly does that!
Design for aging is a concept that is employed by the western world to help their senior generation age better while avoiding the risk of small trip-overs to severe falls.
The minor modifications in the house can result in the best senior living experiences for your loved one.
Make it a Home, Not a House
A home boasts all the facilities and amenities that offer a flexible and a seamless living experience. With modifications made possible by the design for aging experts, you can help your elders achieve this. You can actually gift a home for your elders.
The Floor, The Ceiling and Everything In-between
Epidemiology indicates that one should eliminate all the risk factors to prevent an epidemic. Falls in elderly is an epidemic!
Evaluating the risks involved in a house, the design for aging experts analyzes each factor that comes in touch with your elder’s day to day life.
Now that you have understood the importance of design for aging, here are the ways these experts curb the chances of falls by making basic changes to the floor, ceiling and everything in-between.
1.The Floor – Cluttered floors contribute to almost 73% of falls. Sometimes, the floor material can cause all the damage.
- Design for aging experts recommend installing soft material floors such as cork and rubber.
- Tight-looped carpets not only prevent falls but also reduce the impact in case of a fall.
2.Bathrooms – The second most contributing factor in senior’s falls. With the sharp and metal objects, the falls in bathrooms can lead to severe consequences.
- Installing grab rails for support, laying non-slippery and water absorbent floors is the way to reduce falls.
- Opting for the taps that are curvy instead of sharp edges and covering the sink outer walls with rubber edges helps you prevent injuries in case of a fall.
3.Kitchen – Regular kitchen designs need extra effort from elders to keep it clean and clutter-free.
- Sensibly designed the cooking area, cabinets, and installing layered sink helps elders in many ways.
- Design for aging guidelines help elders work their way in and around the kitchen with ease.
4.Bedrooms – Poor posture, lighting, and even the painting contributes to seniors’ sleep quality and impacts negatively in the cases where the design for aging guidelines are not followed.
- The design for aging experts helps elders by recommending the most appropriate beds, and cots as per the elder’s needs.
- They also help in designing the bedroom in such a way that it provokes the feel of coziness and sleep.
5.Layout – The layout of the house is everything when it comes to accessibility in and around.
- Simple layout changes such as moving the furniture to a certain place and keeping it at a certain angle enhances the overall look and feel of the home.
- Installing grab rails wherever needed, flattening the raised surfaces, and marking the staircases may seem simple changes but have a huge positive impact on elders’ lives.
6.Lighting – When it comes to seniors, the matters of lighting are not to be taken lightly. Poor lighting puts the elder’s life in the dark (literally and metaphorically!)
- Right measures are taken to ensure the home is illuminated as per the elder’s eyesight.
- Painting and lighting are two important components in making it visible for the elders. Design for aging experts recommend the most appropriate measures in this aspect.
With the risk of a fall always around the corner, regular houses can pose a great threat for your loved one’s safety. Take these measures to prevent falls and gift your loved ones the joy of aging in their own home.