center of design Center of Design for an Aging Society

 

 

Ease and Accessibility

Make certain your home fits you, rather than you adapting to your home. With advancing age, joints, skeletal and muscular system are affected. This results in reduced strength, stamina and loss of flexibility. We also loose height in our spine. The net result is that older adults can no longer reach as high, bend as low or maintain the physical activity for the same length of time as they could when they were younger. Furthermore, Arthritis tops the list of chronic condition of older adults.

Handrails

Door and Cabinetware

Controls

Seating
Proper seating is very important for older adults. Sofas and chairs that are too low, too soft, and too deep presents a hazard regarding hip fractures. C. Everett Koop, MD, former surgeon general, highlighted this problem is his PBS program Forever Young where he demonstrated how a hip is broken before a person falls. The problem occurs when the chair or sofa is closed (solid) under the seat, not allowing the seated person to get their foot underneath them to push up with their legs to a standing position. In lieu of this support they rock back and forth to gain momentum. However, once they are standing they turn their forward foot side ways to stop this momentum (so that they don’t fall forward), at this point the hip socket breaks.

 

chair panelDining and Activity Chairs
These chairs must be easy to 1) move away from a table so that one can sit down, 2) pull up to the table while seated, and 3) push back from the table while seated. Casters on all four legs should be avoided, for people not only push themselves up using the arms of the chair, simultaneously they push the chair back in order to stand up. If the chair scoots out from underneath them before they have steadied themselves in a standing position, they fall. A sled-based chair slides easily without sinking into the carpet.

 

chairSolutions for Seating

 

 

back to top