Making homes age friendly

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It does not take very large investments to make rooms safe for the elderly

The sunset of our lives can be golden or leaden. All it requires is a little colour.

Even in palatial homes worth crores of rupees, do the elderly really have a comfort zone? People must change their perceptions to make allowances for ease of access and comfort of the elderly right from the time of planning the house.

Giving them an exclusive room not demand a huge investment. An ordinary room with an attached bathroom can be converted into a good comfort zone for around Rs.50,000. It does not even need the expertise of an interior designer as suppliers themselves come home and fix accessories that are convenient to the user.

“Furnishing the room with some extra accessories and supportive aides will always give them the joy of independent living.

For that, we only need to care,” says P.P. Shajudheen, manager of Homecare, an exclusive showroom for the elderly in Kozhikode. “These items now go beyond the range of conventional walking sticks and walkers.”

Furnishing a room can begin from the bathroom, where slippery floors are a major hazard for senior citizens. Families should be aware that the proper selection of floor tiles alone do not help make the bathroom safe for weak, unsure legs. It is this problem that Pedder Johnson group of companies is trying to solve. The manufacturer offers an economy pack with essential bathroom aides at Rs.11,000.

The package includes a raised foam toilet seat, toilet safety rails, stainless-steel grab bars for the walls and folding arm support.

All these can be fitted without too much construction effort or change in the existing room and can be removed any time.

In addition to these, new arrivals such as folding commodes, Indian conversion commodes and wall-mounted conversion commodes are also available.

Similarly, an array of products from specialised suppliers are available for bedrooms as well. The range includes security items such as adjustable backrests, bedside rails, bed pull-up straps, comfort cushions and folding bed trays. A pair of bed comfort wedges with a small bed tray comes at Rs.6,700.

P.T. Vipin Kumar, deputy manager at Homecare, says the new arrivals help the aged go about their daily tasks independently.

“There are specially designed indoor and outdoor equipment to help them on the move and while at leisure. Customised cellphones, alarm clocks, reading glasses, illuminated magnifiers and dining accessories are some of the available products,” he says.

Some manufacturers also offer customised products based on individual needs of the elderly or the disabled.

Dealers say price is never a deterrent for buyers when the utility of the products goes far beyond expectations and is useful.

mithosh joseph



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