Home Design Tips To Aid Seniors Living With Arthritis 

Photo by Mary Whitney from Pexels

1 in 5 Singaporeans aged 65 and over are living with chronic pain, such as arthritis, according to the Pain Association of Singapore. While arthritis is a debilitating condition for the millions of seniors living with it, simple adjustments to the home can make all the difference to their quality of life. As such, it’s worth overhauling the design of their entire home to increase their overall wellbeing.

User-friendly bathroom

Self-neglect is one of the most common issues seen in the elderly, and all too often it stems from the senior being in so much pain that they don’t bother with their personal hygiene. To solve this problem, a bathroom with walk-in wash facilities is essential. This makes it easy for the senior to wash and is better than a full-size wet room as it limits the likelihood of the senior falling and further aggravating their arthritis. A raised toilet is also recommended as it prevents seniors from having to bend so low, thus eliminates the pressure on joints that are already painful.

An accessible bedroom

Seniors should be getting 8 hours of sleep per day. However, many seniors with arthritis will avoid going to bed because of the pain associated with going up and down the stairs. Instead, they’ll fall asleep upright in an armchair and risk their arthritis getting worse. As part of their home redesign, moving the bedroom downstairs should be considered. This could involve repurposing the dining room or splitting the living room into two with an interior wall. Alternatively, a stairlift could be installed to assist seniors living in their own homes. Not only will this improve their bedtime routine by helping them get up to their bedroom, but it will aid them as they age and require extra support in the home in the form of grab bars, widened doorways, and other home modifications.

Update the kitchen

More than 50% of seniors in Singapore are frail, with the most common reason behind their frailty being malnutrition. A senior battling with arthritis is unlikely to want to spend time preparing nutritious meals in their home unless their kitchen is redesigned for their needs. Upper cabinets should be removed altogether to stop seniors battling to reach items, such as plates and bowls. Instead, utilize drawers and units and place them at waist-height. Taps that operate on a sensor and require a small hand movement to turn on and off are ideal, too. Meanwhile, installing auto-shut-off cooking appliances will reassure seniors who fear that their arthritis will cause their hands to seize up and put them at risk when cooking.

Too many seniors with arthritis are living in homes that aren’t suitable for their needs. But by working with a local contractor to make a few simple changes to the design and layout of their home could make all the difference to the way they feel and live their life.

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