People used to move to nursing homes or senior living facilities due to necessity. Many have ongoing health issues, and others live alone because their family can’t take care of them. But now, a large number of older adults are moving to senior communities by choice. These facilities now have better amenities and services. Many elders want to take advantage of that.
There were about 21,000 senior living units in the US in 2019. Those numbers will go higher as more baby boomers reach retirement age. Senior homes are also changing because of this generation. Instead of shared rooms, many older adults are now expecting to have their own apartments.
If you move to a senior community, you must think about how to design your senior living apartment. It will be challenging, but it’s one that you can overcome with ease. Here are some ideas to guide you:
Most senior apartments are compact and use an open plan. Define areas using rugs, small dividers, or wall curtains. Placing a potted plant or two could also be enough to break up space.
You can use color to define areas. For example, use a light-colored curtain in your designated living area. You can also choose something vibrant in the bathroom or dining space.
Use the Walls
Color has an undeniable effect on your mood and the feel of a space. Put color to good use by painting the walls in your new apartment. Of course, you need to get the management’s approval. You also have the option to use wallpaper if painting is out of the question.
Be very selective in your color choices. A dark or dull color can make an already small room look even more constricting. Meanwhile, light color can open up space and give you more options to be creative with your décor.
When thinking about how to design your senior living apartment, consider the furniture. You won’t be able to bring everything, especially the massive pieces. It might be time to choose the best pieces and give the rest away.
If you decide to get new furniture, pick furniture that’s compact but comfortable. You can buy small sofas that don’t skimp on the comfort or a center table that will transform into a dining set. It’s also best to pick pieces with light colors to give the impression of space. Choose furniture with rounded edges to cut down on bumps and bruises.
Light It Up
The right type of lighting fixture will go a long way to making your apartment feel like a home. If you can, choose a unit that gives you ample natural life. If not, make the best of what you have with the careful placement of light fixtures. Distribute light fixtures throughout your apartment to lessen dark corners. You can also use table and floor lamps with a slim and sleek design. Make sure that it’s placed near electric outlets to reduce the incidents of tripping over cords.
You can use wall-mounted lights for more convenience and to add a nice ambiance, and use dimmers to help you save energy. Research patio lighting ideas if you have your yard or outdoor garden. Meanwhile, well-placed mirrors can make a small space look bigger. They also reflect light from the outdoors and make the room brighter.
Don’t Forget Your Greens
Add plants when planning how to design your senior living apartment. It’s a great way of breathing life into space. There’s also a lot of health benefits associated with gardening. Plants make you feel positive and happy, and it prevents depression (or makes it manageable) and enhances air quality.
Most assisted living facilities already have simple landscaping designs. It will be easy to request some greenery in your apartment. Don’t worry about space since you can use window sills or a small table in a sunny spot for your mini garden. Choose small, easy-to-grow plants like Aloe Vera, Boston fern, English ivy, or a peace lily.
Be Storage Savvy
You’ll need some creativity when planning how to design your senior living apartment. Since space is at a premium, you need to be extra clever when it comes to storage. You don’t want clutter in your unit because there’s limited space. Clutter can be dangerous for you and the elderly. It can cause falls, which is a big no-no for older people.
Aside from the existing storage in your apartment, use multi-purpose furniture pieces. Choose stools and chairs that can open and be used for storage. Some end tables can also act as miniature cabinets. Use the space underneath the beds. A daybed can transform into a sofa and a place for overnight visitors to crash.
You should think vertical instead of horizontal. Use tall shelves for most storage as it gives you more space to display books, photos, and plants. Vertical storage is also easier on the back since you won’t have to keep bending. This is something that a lot of seniors will appreciate. Install wall brackets for instant space. You can hang plants or baskets for linens and light decors.
Did you find the article informative? Then you should also read this post on Landscape Design for Front Yards.