As we age, we need to be mindful of our surroundings and how we move within them. When we become seniors there is a good chance that we will have medical conditions that might cause us to not have great balance or that limit our strength. There is also the situation where medications to treat conditions that many seniors have may also cause these symptoms.
For this reason, when we think about a home for seniors, there needs to be special care taken to make sure that the home is designed to accommodate their condition which may also include increased mobility.
When we think about lofts and the typical loft ladders mostly used to enter them we immediately think that this is a nightmare for seniors and depending upon the ladder this can certainly be the case. However, some seniors will find themselves will no other choice than to live in a loft and must ascend and descend loft stairs. The good news is that there are loft ladders designed that have large handrails and that have steps that are closer together allowing seniors to climb them more easily. To be clear this type of ladder is not for mobility challenged senior but for one who has good strength and decent balance they should have few problems if they take their time and carefully approach the climb or descent. When they use the ladder the first few times someone should also be standing near to watch how they navigate it.
Seniors typically have lots of challenges in standard bathrooms and it is advisable to put in metal handrails that they can use to navigate this small room. Having on near the toilet is particularly important. This is definitely advisable but if there is not the money to replace standard fixtures the key is to not allow seniors to use the bathroom and only have them take showers. You should make sure that the shower faucet is reachable at a low level so they do not have to reach up for it and that this is also the case with the water handles. In terms of the sink, Make sure that the handles are easy to turn on and off and easy use. Finally, make sure that towel racks are in easy reaching distance.
Cooking in the Kitchen
The kitchen can be a dangerous place for seniors who can sometimes be forgetful. You might not want your elderly relative to cook but if it cannot be avoided make sure all smoke alarms are working and that the senior always cooks using the automatic timer or shut off feature on the oven. This way they cannot leave something on the stove on high heat for long periods of time. It may cause them to have to pay more attention which is a good thing and they will be safe.