We are a country where the senior citizens are treated with utmost respect.
Our families usually have several generations living together in one house.
But times are changing.
Work related reasons are forcing us to move out to other cities or abroad and our aging parents are often left alone to fend for themselves. If you are one among those buying a home for your parents to stay, you are left with worries about their safety and comfort.
Keeping these issues in mind, The National Policy of Older Persons declared by the Government of India in 1999 made provisions to ensure that housing facilities comply with certain senior citizen-friendly norms like:
Layouts that can be embraced by the elderly; physical barriers free mobility areas and easy access to areas outside the apartment/house, to mention a few.
“Layouts of housing colonies will have to respond to the lifestyles of the elderly. It will have to be ensured that there are no physical barriers to mobility, and accessibility to shopping complexes, community centers, parks and other services is safe and easy… A multipurpose centre for older persons is a necessity for social interaction and to meet other needs. It will, therefore, be necessary to earmark sites for such centers in all housing colonies…Three or four- storied houses without lifts are unfriendly to older persons, tend to isolate them, restraints their movement outside the home, and are a serious barrier to access to services… Norms will be laid down and strictly enforced.”
If you are looking at an apartment for your parents, here are some tips to make your apartment home elder-friendly.
24×7 power backed escalators
A well-maintained escalator that’s fully operational is a blessing for the elderly with knee problems and arthritic pain.
“An escalator that can accommodate a wheelchair and is fully-operational makes the apartment secure for the elderly.“
Bathrooms are potential areas for accidents. Thoughtful features like a rod for support, non-slip floor tiles and door locks that can be unlocked from both sides helps.
“An easy to open and close ventilator in the bathroom makes it easy to help the elderly especially when they get locked up in the bathroom, or in times of an unexpected emergency.”
Switches right next to the bed, provision for night lights and large windows to watch the world go by help the elderly feel at home.
“A large window that opens to the road and the garden outside is supremely relaxing.”
The elderly always like to be useful. Lowering the height of countertops a little or even providing sinks with knee clearance helps.
“If the cooking surface is low, the elderly can conveniently make a cup of tea when nobody is around to help.”
Add to this a security feature like a screening device at the entrance that helps them stay safe and you can be sure that they are happy and comfortable.
Anything you can add to this list to make their life easier? Go ahead! Leave your suggestions.