Right design in every room and some useful gadgets go a long way in making their life comfortable. A look by K. Sukumaran

These are days when we often come across instances of risk to life and property when elders live alone in their houses built decades ago. Some of the common hazards they face are tripping and slipping on the floor or in the bathroom, which causes serious physical injury. The reducing physical agility is a cause of concern for the aged. Many homes are, therefore, being built or modified to suit the physical conditions and general needs of the occupants. In the West, as a matter of rule, parents live alone as the children move out to charter their own course in life. Even in an Indian situation, we find that there are more and more ‘home alone’ elders these days who like to protect their privacy and personal comforts.

Basic safety requirements

Some of the common requirements for a ‘senior’ occupant of a house are:

Access to the entry point without climbing stairs

Wheel-chair access to the main hall and even the bedrooms.

Bathroom at the same level as the bedroom.

Cupboards at low height, both in the bedrooms and the bathrooms

Non-slippery floors

Adjustable beds and bedside tables

Fire and burglary alarms

Protective grill doors and windows

Easily turnable door knobs.

Technology to the rescue

Many electronic gadgets and other facilities are now being offered to facilitate safe and comfortable living in one’s old age.