There are also a lot of kitchen safety changes that can save your body as well. When you become older your range of motion becomes smaller and putting things at a more accessible height will protect your back. Drawers instead of doors on your lower cabinets stop you from having to crouch to see into a cabinet. Putting your microwave at counter height and buying appliances with front mounted controls eliminates unnecessary reaching. For your hardware try to switch to pulls and levers, as knobs are harder on our hands as we age. For your kitchen you may also want to consider counter height seating so that you can sit and prepare your meals and getting rounded edges on countertops in case there is an accident.
There are electrical changes that can save you from potential fall as well. Putting in 2-3 way switches can help you move around in the dark and see potential obstacles. You might also want to place your outlets 18-24” off the ground to reduce how far you need to bend and put in light switches with a rocker panel instead of the toggle option.
Colours & Finishes
When thinking about finishes there is a lot to consider. Picking softer flooring like carpet, cork or vinyl plank can save your joints or your body after a fall. The one thing to consider when getting carpet is to pick one with a shorter pile height so that if a wheelchair or walker is necessary it can be used easily. You also want to keep flooring smooth and level when you can. If there needs to be a change in height try to draw attention to it with a different colour or pattern. If your depth perception eventually slips, contrast when changing finishes and heights may prevent avoidable accidents. This goes with picking wall finishes as well. Picking a wall paint or tile that gives a contrast to the floor helps distinguish where the wall and floor meet. You also don’t want to pick something with a high sheen. Sheen can add a glare and can distort colours, try to use a matte or flat finish for your tile and paint.
There are many other factors to contemplate when planning your home but keeping this list in mind can help you stay in your home for as long as possible. Planning for life’s inevitable changes can give you peace of mind for the future even though not everyone ends up needing all of these precautions. Independence in the future goes hand in hand with accessibility and taking these measures now will ultimately save you money and increase your convenience and enjoyment of your home.
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Interior Design/ Drafting