As your loved one’s needs change, some aspects of her home might need some adjusting, too. One of the tools that can help you to manage this for your loved one is called universal design. It’s been around for years, but some companies and contractors are just getting on board with all of the different aspects of universal design that can help everyone in the household.
Universal Design Defined
Universal design sounds really complicated, but all it really means is that manufacturers and designers rethink how and where they place items to include everyone who might possibly use the home. The focus is on how the home functions and how people who live in that home function within the home. You don’t have to do massive renovations to start adopting a universal design flow in your loved one’s home.
UD in the Kitchen
The kitchen is one room that can use universal design principles quite easily. If possible, move items that are stored up high to a lower space. Appliances such as a microwave that are mounted high, such as above the stove, might be better served at a lower level, like on a countertop instead. Improved lighting and automatic shut-offs on appliances are also additions to consider.
Living Areas and Universal Design
Single-floor homes are more likely to easily adapt a universal design. The reason for this is that there are no stairs in the home creating obstacles and the living areas are all on the same floor as utility rooms and bathrooms. Removing thresholds and using motions sensors on lighting can be other universal design additions that you include.
UD and Bathroom Safety
In the bathroom, some universal design ideas can get expensive, like replacing a shower stall with a no-threshold shower stall. Instead, focus on installing tools that are always there for your loved one, such as hand rails or adjustable shower heads. Folding shower benches also work well because the shower can then be easily used by your loved one or someone who doesn’t need the bench.
Used properly, universal design can work for you, other family members, and home care providers all helping your loved one in the same space.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering in-home caregivers, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands Home Care at 215 882 8234.