According to studies, the majority of falls suffered by older adults that lead to hospitalizations or injuries happens at home. As such, it is essential to keep the home decluttered and safe. Consider choosing elder-friendly furniture to ensure that the home is fall-proof, especially if your loved ones are living alone after their retirement. Elder-friendly furniture does not necessarily have to be plain and boring, there any many materials and colors you can play with to liven up the home while ensuring that your loved one is safe at home.
We’ve put together this guide to help you think about and decide what are some of the best elder-friendly furniture in retirement.
The Sit Test
When it comes to selecting elder-friendly furniture for your loved one, there is something known as the “sit test” which is essentially where you can get your loved one to try out various kinds of chairs and have them evaluate the chairs based on how hard or soft the seat is, whether the height is suitable for them and whether they get enough support from the chair.
Chair Design and Selection
With regards to picking out the perfect chair, chairs that have an upholstered seat and back are generally preferred. As for the materials, chairs made of vinyl or polyurethane are recommended due to their “workhorse” materials since they can be easily scrubbed to ensure hygiene and is more durable. If you’d like for the chair to have some design to brighten up your home, you could opt for a dressier fabric to be used on the back of the chair.
Another thing which you should pay attention to is what material of flooring will the chair be placed on. If the chair is going to be placed over a carpet, casters should be placed on the front legs of the chair only to give your loved ones the freedom to move towards or away from the table without additional help. However, if the chair is going to be on a hard surface floor, it would be better to go for chairs with easy or nickel glides as plastic glides are often too small to carry the load of the chair and are thus less stable.
When selecting tables, it’s important to go for tables that can be easily moved around and reconfigured to fit more people. This can be achieved by getting tables that have lockable casters or the height can be easily adjusted.
On the other hand, selecting furniture to be placed in the lounge is a little different, as such furniture must be comfortable and easy to get out of, and thus shouldn’t be too low or deep. For example, the arms of lounge chairs have to be at a comfortable height. Nowadays, armchairs are increasingly more popular as compared to sofas.
As for coffee tables, it is safer to go for coffee tables that are made of wood rather than glass as glass is harder to see. Further, round tables rather than square or rectangle tables are preferred since they usually have a hard edge to them and your loved ones could easily hurt themselves.