There are two rules to follow when you consider placement of furniture: safety and comfort; in that order. This is more important when considering arranging furniture for your aging loved one. The CDC offers these statistics on falls: it shows that one in four persons over the age of 65 will have a fall within the year and that every 19 minutes, an older adult will die from a fall. With that information, several issues come to mind that I will attempt to address here.
SAFETY TIP FOR DEPENDENT SENIORS WHO ARE PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED
One of the first things to consider when arranging furniture for a wheelchair, walker or cane-dependent individual is space. Considering the width of the wheelchair or walker as well as moving and turn-around space is a necessity in this case. Simply put, one should consider navigation space. The average space needed would be a 5 x 5-foot area in the middle of the room.
You would also want to consider where the wheelchair or walker should be placed when not in use. It would certainly need to be conveniently placed so that there is an easy accessibility to their device by your loved one.
This consideration of space would lend to the fact that it would be best to have minimal furniture in your mobility-challenged senior’s home.
Another factor to consider when selecting and arranging furniture for a mobility-challenged person is that you also need transfer space. A table in front of a couch or a throw rug placed next to a bed is also a bad idea. The rug could, of course, get twisted up in the transfer or get caught in the legs of a walker.
TYPES OF FURNITURE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
When selecting furniture for your mobility-challenged seniors, consider not having legs that curve outward on coffee tables, dining tables, end tables and the like. This is a sure-fire tripping hazard.
SAFETY TIP FOR SENIORS IN GENERAL
Even if your senior is not mobility dependent, you should still consider safety when arranging furniture. Throw rugs are cute, but can be an issue for an aging person whose gait may not be what it used to be.
An older person who does not have to contend with the likes of wheelchair, walker or cane may appreciate having a sturdy night stand or end table to support them as they attempt to get up or down from their bed or couch.
Remember that we said safety and comfort are the two things to consider in arranging furniture. But don’t forget to have fun with this since you can definitely decorate around your new arrangement. And speaking of new; why not consider new furniture. Especially if you senior is leaving a life-long home and the furniture is too over-sized and bulky for your smaller location.
Call Missy Donaghy with Interiors for Seniors for a FREE consultation 321-279-3301.
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