Modern senior citizens are living longer, healthier lives than ever before, with many enjoying an active lifestyle well into their retirement years. Getting the most out of retirement usually depends on making a few changes, and one of the biggest is making the decision to downsize from their current home to an environment more conducive to safe and comfortable senior living. If you have a parent or other elderly loved one who is just beginning the process of moving from their home to a smaller house, an apartment, or an assisted living community and you've been tasked with helping them make the transition, you may be thinking of furnishing the new place with items from the old place, but this may not be the best approach besides a few cherished pieces.
Besides the fact that smaller spaces generally look less cluttered if the furniture is to scale, there are safety and comfort issues to consider as well when creating a senior-friendly home environment. Keep in mind that even if your senior loved one currently experiences no significant mobility or balance issues, this may change at some point in the future. Here's what you need to know about choosing the best furniture for your senior loved one's new home:
In the Bedroom
Adjustable beds are a great choice for seniors because they can choose their own sleeping position as well as sit up in bed while reading or watching television. Those with circulation and/or respiratory issues may fare better if they can elevate part of their sleeping and resting space. Other comfort and safety features include a bed with a padded headboard to help ensure maximum comfort and a sturdy bedside table with a strong reading lamp within easy reach of the bed's occupant.
In the Living Room
As people age, many may begin to experience difficulties with standard-sized furniture. Large, deep-seated couches and chairs are prime culprits because getting out of them can challenging for those with bad knees or backs, so consider their shallow-seated counterparts instead. Vinyl furniture should be avoided as well because it provides a slippery surface.
In the Dining Room
Dining room wooden furniture is often all hard angles and lines, which can result in injuries from accidentally bumping into sharp corners. You can help ensure comfort and safety in the dining room by choosing tables and chairs with rounded corners and by making selections that are the right height for the person who will be using it. Avoiding glass tabletops is also recommended for coffee tables as well as those in the dining room.
A local home furniture retailer will be able to provide you with more information on creating a safe and comfortable living environment for your senior loved one.