Our reader’s corner section features questions from our readers and provides insights on all topics related to home design, homekeeping and interiors.
This edition’s question:
I live with my family of 5, including my mother who has arthritis. We want to design our living room that can be used by both our kids and my mother. What are the things that I should take care to ensure their safety and convenience?
–Anusha Shetty, Mangalore
It takes some thought to design a home for people with different requirements, especially if you have both kids and elderly parents or in-laws living with you. Kids and the elderly are prone to more mishaps and that’s why certain steps have to be taken to ensure a safe and comfortable environment.
Here are some tips to help make your living room user-friendly
1. Comfortable furniture
Senior citizens and children are often prone to hurting themselves during everyday tasks. Tables and sofas with round edges are a good choice in this case. Moreover, since people with arthritis have a difficulty in rising from their seats, opt for sofas or chairs with high seats, medium-soft cushions and strong arms for a good grip. Since bending or picking up things can be tiresome for them, make sure that other furniture like tables and shelves are at a convenient height.
Sometimes we tend to clutter the living room with numerous furnishings, but little do we know that less can be more. Eliminate unnecessary furniture from the living room – this will result in a large open space convenient enough for children and elders to freely walk around.
3. Smart Storage
Having a coffee table or side table with built-in storage like a rack and drawer makes it easy to store newspapers, magazines or other stationery items without having to move around much. You can also choose floating tv units and shelves to minimize the effort needed to bend and lift the remote control.
4. Secure rugs and wires
Rugs and mats in the living room are potentially dangerous to both arthritic patients and young kids, since people can trip over them easily. Tape any rugs to the floor and make them secure to ensure that they don’t fall out of place.Also, look out for tv cords or wires loosely lying around and tape them up securely.
You can also install grab bars and handles at certain places along the wall to help disabled people move around easily. With a few of these easy modifications , you can make your living room user-friendly and safe for family members of all ages.