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How to meet the needs of seniors?


Jan 21, 2023
meet the needs of seniors

Every year, one in three seniors is the victim of a domestic accident. Aging, physical frailty, hearing and vision problems do not help, hence the need to provide them with a secure environment. In other words, the decoration and the equipment will be chosen according to the specific needs of the elderly, and will of course comply with the regulations in force concerning hygiene and safety.

Safe and comfortable furniture

To reduce the risk of accidents, it is essential to equip retirement homes and EHPADs with ergonomic furniture that meets standards , which must be both light and robust. Add practical and easy-to-clean coverings such as leather, because this material is simply maintained with a damp sponge. In order to effectively meet the needs of the elderly, manufacturers are focusing more on comfort and on securing furniture dedicated to retirement homes. You will also find a wide choice of professional equipment dedicated to CHR on the Ligne Vauzelle website, a brand specializing in the design, manufacture and sale of furniture. The platform offers various options to create user-friendly and perfectly secure spaces for the public received.

Ergonomic and safe bathrooms

To prevent the risk of falls and slips, bathrooms in retirement homes must have specific facilities . The elderly must be able to move around in complete safety. Exit the bathtub, favor the walk-in shower without steps, and add stools or armchairs specially designed to secure seniors in the shower. Do not forget the mandatory facilities such as handrails.

The smallest details must be thought out to facilitate the daily lives of our seniors . Take for example the height of the washbasin, the basin must be judiciously positioned so that the user can easily wash. As furniture placed on the floor hinders the movement of wheelchairs, prefer storage fixed to the walls instead. It goes without saying that non-slip floors are essential in a bathroom dedicated to seniors.

Secure access to stairs

Since elderly care facilities rarely offer the possibility of having all the bedrooms on the ground floor, the installation of an electric stairlift or an elevator is essential to allow access to the stairs. In any case, the steps should not be more than 21 cm high and 45 ° in slope, and their depth should be more than 24 cm for a standard width of 70-80 cm.

It is also advisable to opt only for non-slippery surfaces, even if it means covering the steps with a properly fixed carpet. Failing that, there are tactile or non-slip strips that are easy to apply. It should also be remembered that the steps must be visible at all times , hence the usefulness of good lighting and light strips to be fixed on each “nose” of the step. As for the handrail, it must be placed at a height of between 90 cm and 1 m, with a distance of 5 to 10 cm from the wall.

Adapted and secure rooms

A room dedicated to an elderly person must comply with the usual safety standards. Thus, an R10 non-slip coating will be provided for the floor, and to facilitate identification in the space, the color of the parquet will contrast with that of the walls. If necessary, a handrail fixed along the walls will allow the senior to move around his room in complete safety. In terms of electrical installation, it is advisable to raise the sockets and to favor double back and forth switches. The best would be to fix the switches as close as possible to the bed.

Ergonomic and practical furniture find their usefulness in a room dedicated to a senior, and they must be arranged in such a way as to facilitate circulation. Poufs and coffee tables, which can represent obstacles for the elderly, are totally prohibited. On the other hand, furniture risers are welcome. They slip easily under the furniture to optimize the height .

A reorganization of the cupboards is also necessary in a room for seniors. The most used items will be placed on the most accessible shelves, less than 1.30 meters from the ground. Swing or accordion doors will be preferred for cupboards. It will nevertheless be necessary to provide a clearance of 1.40 m in front of each cabinet. This precaution is necessary so that a person in a wheelchair can move easily between open doors. In the case of sliding doors, be aware that the minimum clearance in front of the cupboard must be 1.10 m.

In the case of a dressing room, the average comfort height of the shelves remains the same, ie 1.30 m. For a person requiring a walking aid, the maximum height of the shelves will be between 0.60 and 1.50 m. On the other hand, if the individual does not present any disabling pathology, a maximum average height of 1.90 m is perfectly suitable. Remember that no step should complicate access to the dressing room. The interior space will be systematically laid out so that the senior can move around in complete safety . Also allow a minimum space of 1.30 m in front of the drawer units.

Create a functional dining room

Like the bedrooms, the layout of the dining room designed to accommodate seniors should not be left to chance. First, get rid of carpets and other slippery surfaces. For chairs, opt for suitable models, with armrests and footrests . In short, it is advisable to declutter the dining room as much as possible, only provide functional furniture that meets the imposed safety standards. For the most relevant layouts, consider calling on an interior designer. The services of an occupational therapist may also be helpful.

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