Friday, April 8, 2011

Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona Aging in Place Interior Design for the Elderly


You never know when an opportunity will present itself. A few days ago I met a woman who owns a in home personal care for the disabled and elderly. I had a chance to talk about how the right interior design can lengthen the time that a disabled or elderly person can remain in their home and even sometimes eliminate the need for the homeowner to go into institutionalized care. She has asked me to speak to a group of over 300 people about how interior design can improve our lives in our later years.

I think that it is always preferable to help a homeowner to remain in their home as long as possible. If  a homeowner knows they have no plans to move, updating and remodeling offers the perfect time to begin the changes towards creating longevity in the home. One never can predict the future, so a homeowner doesn't need to wait until they are up in years to add some of the structural changes. Enlarging doorways to a 36" to fit a wheelchair is a very smart idea when remodeling. When redoing bathrooms, adding reinforcement in the walls so that grab bars can be added later is easy and inexpensive.

Universal design for the disabled has come a long way and there are so many stylish options for bathroom fixtures and finishes. You could use these fixtures and end up with a beautiful space that doesn't scream disabled. See the photo below to see an example of how good planning and beautiful fixtures can go hand in hand.

Picture of Beautiful Universal Design for the Bath.
Universal bath design can be beautiful.
There are many other everyday decisions that affect the ability to stay in the home. Hardwoods or other similar finishes are easier on walker and wheelchair use. If a person is dealing with poor eye sight, it would be beneficial to have many high contrast finishes and fabrics to help someone with poor eye sight distinguish between spaces in their home more easily. See the photo below for a wonderful example of high contrast universal design in the bedroom.

Picture of a bedroom that uses universal design principles.
The bedroom proves universal design can be both functional and beautiful!
If you wish to learn more about aging in place and how beautiful design decisions can help you or your family member, call Susie Goldstein Interiors LLC at (480) 775-1500.  Scottsdale and Phoenix aging in place information is only one call away. I am also a speaker and can talk to groups about this very important topic.