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7 Ways to Injury-Proof Tiny Homes for Older Adults

Published on: 26 April 2024 (Fri)
7 Ways to Injury-Proof Tiny Homes for Older Adults

There’s a long number of reasons why a tiny home will pique a senior’s fancy. First, cleaning and upkeep are exponentially easy — a benefit you’ll surely give a two thumbs up on. Second, it’s environmentally friendly, which is vital if you want to get involved in mitigating climate change. Regardless of the size of your abode, safety remains a top priority for seniors. Explore seven ways to injury-proof these trending tiny homes for seniors. 

1. Incorporate Universal Design Principles

Just because your home has shrunk doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the size of the features. Sticking to conventional design principles allows your limited-spaced home to stay functional, safe and adaptable — all while promoting aging in place. 

Some integrations include using lever-style door handles on cabinets, implementing no-step entries and installing wider doorways. Your abode may have reduced in size, but it shouldn’t compromise safety at any point. The standard door height of 80 inches and width of at least 32 inches should be maintained, as well as other important features to avoid accidents.

2. Furnish With Adequate Lighting

For optimum visibility, there should be sufficient natural and artificial lighting in tiny homes made for seniors. Vision problems are associated with aging — you may have to squint to see anything in your path. That’s why adequate illumination during the night is critical to reduce the risk of accidents. Install bulbs strategically in areas you frequent. 

LEDs are an excellent option since they don’t consume too much power. Some even run on solar, which cuts the electricity bills. They’re also sustainable and reduce your carbon footprint while optimizing the function of a cramped space. Access to natural light during the day is equally essential — open windows for proper ventilation and a 360-degree view of your walk area.

3. Choose Slip-Resistant Flooring Materials

Tiny homes for seniors rarely have stairs. Despite this, 31% of adults fall in the living room. The most probable culprit is the slippery floor. Physical mobility challenges are common in older people due to declining strength. It’s specifically prevalent in those who skip at least 30-minute walks or exercise in their daily routine and live a sedentary lifestyle. If you’re in the same boat, you may find it hard to balance your toes and heels on uneven ground or slippery surfaces, often leading to slips and falls. 

Installing non-slip flooring materials can address the issue. Furnish the ground with low pile height carpets and use non-slip rugs or underlays to transition between different flooring surfaces. It ensures safety and autonomic navigation between home areas.

4. Improve Accessibility in the Bathroom

Most accidents in tiny homes made for seniors happen in the bathroom. Many of those who experience slips and falls suffer moderate to severe injuries, resulting in hospital admissions and costly health care expenses. 

Older people and their families must pay extra attention to making the bathroom safe. Modifications like adding grab bars and curbless showers and ensuring ample space for mobility increase accessibility for older family members. Keeping the bathroom floor clear of shampoo bottles or soaps also mitigates the risk of injuries. A senior-friendly toilet and bath promotes autonomy and allows older relatives to stay independent. 

5. Place Everything at Arm’s Reach

More seniors are getting involved in the tiny home movement. One advantage of choosing this sustainable lifestyle is personalization. You can customize the kitchen in a way that provides everything you need for meal preparation at arm’s reach, including condiments, plates, pans and toaster. 

Some tiny home companies can also customize the height of countertops and pull-out shelves so you don’t need to bend or stress your neck and hips — increasing the risk of minor injury — just to reach for a glass. You’ll enjoy preparing healthy salads, main courses and desserts if your kitchen is modified for convenient use. 

6. Arrange Furniture Accordingly

If you want to know how to make a tiny house wheelchair-accessible — there’s one thing to keep in mind — aim for functionality and comfort over aesthetics. To make this possible in a modular home, choose multi-functional furniture, such as a sofa bed that functions as storage or a foldable table you can pull out from the side whenever you need it. 

By picking furniture that serves multiple purposes, you can limit the stuff you put into your home, which means more space for mobility, clear pathways and less clutter. Tables with round edges are ideal for preventing bruises when you accidentally bang an elbow or a leg on the frame.

7. Make Your Home Smart

Another ally in making tiny homes for seniors injury-proof is technology. You can live sustainably and safely by incorporating smart features — such as auto-control for lighting and temperature. 

Traditionally, you have to switch on the lights as you enter the room. With technology, there’s no need to flip anything since the lights and the HVAC automatically turn on, providing a seamless and safe transition between the outside world and your personal sanctuary.

Voice-activated devices let you control your home without lifting a finger. Instead of walking up to the bathroom because you forget to turn off the lights, making commands is safer. It’s energy-efficient and sustainable, too, since the built-in sensors in motion tools only activate the appliances when you’re inside. Above all, smart sensors can detect falls and send emergency alerts to family members. Take advantage of what technology has to offer to increase safety. 

Enjoy Sustainable Living in a Tiny Home

Many seniors downsize by moving to an assisted living facility. Another way to lead a minimalist lifestyle is to live in a senior-friendly tiny home — it’s sustainable, easy to maintain and lowers your living expenses. 

Because you see everything in your line of sight, it’s easy to locate things if you need them. Its simplicity is a big draw for seniors wanting to live with bare essentials in their storage. Above all, you can customize it to make it safe and secure while still living comfortably.

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