Floor considerations for senior citizens and the elderly
With advances in science, healthcare, nutrition and general lifestyle improvements, the world's population is getting older, as senior citizens and elderly folk live longer. According to SeniorJournal.com, the senior citizen population - defined as those age 65 and older - is projected to grow by 104.3 percent between 2012 and 2050. At that point, the study estimates that there will be 80.5 million Americans under age 15 and 86.8 million seniors over age 64, a jarring shift from previous generations. As elderly folk live longer, their lifestyles require more attention from their children and other caretakers. One area that is often ignored is what kind of flooring solutions these senior citizens have in their place of residence. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when selecting flooring options for them.
The most important priority should be functionality and safety. Elderly people are vulnerable to falls that can be very dangerous. As they change their gait with age, senior citizens tend to shuffle their feet more when walking. While hardwood floors may have the kind of warm look and decades-old character that the elderly would like, they can be more slippery, especially when newly-waxed or finished.
Instead, buying carpet would appear to be the more prudent solution for senior citizens. Top quality carpet that comfortably grips the floor and is held in place, while not having a slippery surface on its fibers, is ideal for the elderly. There is one issue with carpet to keep in mind, however. According to FloorDaily.net, there may be an adjustment for elderly folk who need to use a wheelchair or have caregivers push heavy carts with medicines, as the wheels might get caught in the carpet. When selecting a carpet type, be sure to provide your client with samples to test over, including pushing wheelchairs, mobile medicine providers, or any other heavy carts.
As far as design considerations, it is important that vision and perceptual changes are considered. FloorDaily.net recommends that color contrast be kept to a minimum, as not to provide potentially-confusing optical illusions for senior citizens. Glare is another consideration, as well as the mood-altering properties of certain colors. Senior citizens are likely to benefit from the sprucing up of their house and mood with the use of bright colors like yellow and orange.