Insights from Mr.Nagesh Battula, Founder and Managing Director – FHD Group

Monday, 18 March 2019

From a designer’s perspective, we ideally look to answer several considerations catering to the end-user needs. It is always challenging to design concerning specific age groups where we tend to respond beyond the design standards as such. This 2 part series of articles will help you to comprehend that there is a list of things you ought to keep in mind while designing homes for elderly people.

To inform comfort, safety, and then aesthetics
Homes for seniors are markedly different in terms of living and lifestyle from those of growing families or working families. Let us take an example. Many seniors continue to contribute to their professions through advisory or consultancy or education well into their retirement. In such cases, the spare bedroom is then more than just that. This space can be used predominantly as a home office, which transforms into a guest bedroom for visitors or extended family. So, we believe it is important to understand the needs and requirements of the end-users when designing or choosing their home.

Their Health condition, Mobility, and Accessibility
As seniors age, another key area of focus should be on support staff requirements within their home. Occasional night-stay nooks should be considered for short-term caregivers. Proper designated space for long-term caregivers/nurses, along with adequate storage for their belongings, should be considered. Medicine storage space should be conveniently located. Considering that difficulty in mobility with age is a possibility, it is essential to keep in mind the need for at-home medical equipment.

It is important to design buildings keeping in mind the mobility needs as well as the safety requirements of our seniors. Ramps with adequate gradients (say,1:12 slope), stairs with handrails, toilet with safety bars near the WC and shower areas, appropriately placed emergency alarms are minimum design considerations when designing for seniors.

To summarize this part 1 of the article, being empathetic while designing shall direct assistance.
1)Consider not to remind the seniors of their illness,
2)Equipment and medicines are discretely stored but with easy access,
3)Neatly organized home, that is easy to maintain,
4)Interior decorations should ideally reflect the family’s aspirations and preferences,
5)Aesthetically arranged room to create a warm, peaceful and non-clinical feel. Mementos marking a well-lived life, itself will be aesthetically pleasing.

We are continuing to research this topic and will be issuing periodic insights. Be sure to read part 2 of the article Click here.
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Link to read this article published online. Click here