Building Homes for the Elderly and Disabled

Present styles show an ageing Australia inhabitants. Also, there’s a force by nations to have seniors individuals stay in their own homes for longer and thus reduce the stress on assisted living facilities and medical centers. It is sensible, for that reason, to look at such as particular features in homes that will allow older individuals to have better and more secure use of their homes.

As we get older we get less agile and much less mobile. Even easy tasks like turning on a tap can be challenging. In the event you expect to be living in the home you are building throughout a period of your life when such disabilities are likely to creep up on you, then it is useful to make specific inclusions from the outset. There will undoubtedly be a financial saving if you have pre-empted your requirements and can stay in your house longer without the want for main and high priced modifications. Even in case you do not intend to spend your old age in the house it’s still advisable to make it ‘aged’ friendly since this might be an added selling point when the time comes to move. For sale signs are likely to read ‘Wide doorways and hallways, remote control fittings, easy-access bathrooms, quick grip tap and door handles, low maintenance building and gardens’. These properties will sell for a higher price.

If there will probably be a disabled person living in or visiting your home you may wish to use features which will make your home user friendly for that person. The kind of disability will of course determine the extent of features you require. It is wise to discuss the particular wants of the disabled individual with health professionals and to acquire facts about items you’ll be able to install in your property.

House features to assist the elderly and disabled:

Single level home with no step-ups or step-downs.

Flat or quite gently graded yard and driveway.

A driveway that’s wide and simple to reverse out of.

Door handles and locks which can easily be reached.

Tap handles that can be easily gripped and which have no sharp edges. Some star-shaped tap handles are pretty dangerous and ought to not be used in shower areas where they could cause injury. Striking one’s head whilst picking up soap that has fallen on the floor is not uncommon. Flick-mixer taps may be hard to adjust for water volume and temperature. Longer, smooth operating levers are easiest to adjust.

Little rooms, for example toilets, bathrooms and shower spaces, need to be big enough so that turning or maneuvering in them is easy. Towel racks and clothes hooks make a bathroom extra convenient to use. Window locks that will be easily reached. The latch and lock on the window over the kitchen sink and bath tub must be especially low as they have to be reached for over obstacles.

Cupboards that are accessible. Standing on a chair to reach the top shelf can end up in disaster for an older individual. Light switches and power points which are not too high or too low. Two-way light switches in passageways and significant rooms. You ought to not have to cross a dark room and risk tripping up just to turn off a light. Grab-rails inside the bathroom, shower, toilet and anywhere there is a step.

Fold-down shower seats to enable the individual to sit whilst washing. No drop to the shower recess. A 30mm step-down to the shower is sufficient. A hand-held shower kit will be extremely helpful. Bench heights which are appropriate for you. Tall people will have a hard time bending over low benches while high benches are difficult for short people to work at. Cooking appliances that have easy-to-read dials and easy-to-turn knobs.

Floor Coverings that are easy on the feet. Ceramic tiles will be cold in winter and not very good for people who suffer arthritic troubles whilst carpets will need be vacuumed frequently to minimise asthma and allergy troubles. Timber flooring, vinyl or cork tiles are alternatives. Ornate cornices and picture rails should be omitted. The older an individual gets, the much less able they will be to do household chores like dusting.

The house should be built from materials that require minimum maintenance, e.g. brick, glazed roof tiles, aluminium frames and Colorbond gutters. Roof gables, exposed eaves, timber posts and rendered walls will need ongoing maintenance which, when you can’t do it yourself, will cost you cash. People with back complications will appreciate semi-recessed hand basins inside the bathroom. These will allow the user to come in close with bent knees under the bowl and not need to lean forward creating anxiety on the lower back.

Suitable features for wheelchair access consist of:

A minimum pathway width of 1m with a non-slip surface. Access-ways should be well lit and sheltered from the weather at the front entry door.

A minimum driveway width of 4m to enable the wheelchair to come alongside the motor vehicle. The driveway gradient really should be no far more than 1:10. The section on which the vehicle is parked on needs to be flat.

The garage or carport needs to have an entry height clearance of 2.5m to allow a car-top wheelchair hoist.

There must be NO obstacles to negotiate. Weather strips at doorways and doormats will need to be 10mm or much less in height.

All doorways should be at least 820mm wide.

The entry ought to have a circulation region of 1.6m by 1.6m.

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