The aging population in Singapore is increasingly high today than it was a decade ago, and it’s expected to elevate even further in few years to come. By the year 2030, it is estimated that close to 20% of Singaporean will be near the age of 65. This means that you or your parents may need to consider looking for ways to make the living place elderly friendly, and this means renovation. Fortunately, there is no shortage of home renovation companies here in Singapore that can help the elderly maintain their independence and prevent possible accidents at this age, but you need to be careful when choosing because some may not contribute to improving the accessibility and the adaptability of the elderly home.
Here we have compiled few home renovation projects that are specifically meant for the elderly:
Elderly might be hearing impaired, so the front door should have a doorbell with both vibration and light features. The door handle should be replaced with a doorknob or a door lever. For the elderly in wheelchairs, space should be your priority; this means there are no barriers between the living room, corridor, and the front entrance. Other than that, you need to ensure that you use easy to operate hardware’s on doors and windows
Renovating lights for the elderly requires special consideration and care from the renovating expert or lighting designer. As people nears 55 years and above, they experience neurodegeneration in their eyes, causing the eyes lens scatter more light, therefore with the wrong lighting, ever object they come across appear less vivid. When renovating for the elderly, light should be ample, but not too glaring as this can affect the mobility of the elderly.
It’s important that you pay closer attention to lighting on the outside, on reading areas, stairways, bathrooms, and other places where the old will likely to spend most of the time during the day. Consider using:
• Night lights
If the elderly needs to move around the house in the course of the night whether it's due to pain associated with age or just to wee, you won’t want them to trip over something on the floor, so you ought to consider special night lights.
• Emergency lights
Emergency lights are the newest development ideal to place on the elderly living area. These lights will help responders or neighbors to quickly locate the presence of the old and help if necessary. They are also useful when there is an electrical blackout. When renovating you need to make sure that emergency lights are placed at the right place, like along the staircase, kitchen and on the exit doors.
• Natural light
It's important that you ensure that a home for the elderly has a sufficient number of windows, to let light into the house. This is very beneficial to the elderly especially to the state of their mind. Natural light is also a source of vitamin D, an essential nutrient that aids the absorption of calcium. To ensure sufficient lights, you might want to consider installing glass doors and skylights.
Switches and sockets
Large rocker type of light switches is recommended especially if there are any of the elderly sufferings from arthritis. Make sure that the switches are adjusted to place that is comfortable for the old to reach without straining themselves. 600 mm to around 1200 mm may be ideal, for those who are suffering from a backache. The height may look terrible in terms of the interior home décor, but you it can be fixed in a way that looks presentable. You need to eliminate the use of extension cords as old people might trip over, or even use appliances not ideal for extension cords. Instead, install additional cord, to areas that require electrical usage.
Floor surfaces should be stable, level, and slip resistant. So all the tiles that are slippery or high sheen surfaces should be eliminated for good. Floor surfaces also include carpets, those that are a pile deeper than an inch or those that aren’t installed with proper padding should also be eliminated. It’s very easy to change the flooring design, but it’s also important to consider alerting the elderly about any surface floor change since this can sometimes cause more harm than good especially if they have lived in the same house for years. Some elderly may also suffer from contrast impaired perception, which will force you to introduce contrasting color to the floor and other areas. It would be advisable to install grab bars in areas where floor surface changes have occurred to provide additional support. Areas that may need special attention when it comes to floor change include:
You need to choose floor tiles that aren’t slippery at all. If you have the bathroom mat, that can be more useful to aging individuals, but make sure you have the non-skid type. Consider renovating the toilet bowls, and seats; make them a little higher this will be less stressful on the elderly knees and back.
The floor in the kitchen should be skid resistance, and you can also choose to add some non-skid rugs to the floor. It's important to careful consider the floor to install when renovating because some floor may require that you not only remove the entire existing floor but also replace the sub-floor long before you the non-skid flooring. Some other options are there and will involve going over your existing floor without major construction.
• Living room
If the elderly is in the wheelchair, you need to ensure that the flooring surface that you use will make it easier to move. Do not include floor with the sudden floor falls or not on the same level. Consider replacing your carpet to a more elderly friendly one especially if the elderly suffer from cold-triggered ailments, or you can install carpet underlays to prevent slipping and tripping over the typical carpet on marble or tiled floor.
These are just some few of areas that need renovation with the elderly, but there are much more beyond the scope of this article, and only a profession Singapore renovation company can identify your specific needs and ensure reliable and safe living place for your parent or yourself.