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Interior design can have a dramatic effect on your health, safety and general wellbeing — this is especially true if you’re a senior. So, what interior design changes should you make this year? Read below to find out.

Eliminate Tripping Hazards:

There can be lots of tripping/falling hazards around your home:

  • Steep staircases without sturdy handrails.
  • Uneven transitions between rooms.
  • Slippery tiles.
  • Decorative rugs and carpets.
  • Electrical cords lying on the floor.

Trips and falls are the most common cause of injury in the country. The injury isn’t minor, either. It often leads to a trip to the emergency room and an extended hospital stay. Since your bones lose density with age, seniors are more vulnerable to this type of injury.

You should remove as many tripping hazards as possible. If you think you’ll have to undergo major renovations to make your home safer, you might want to consider moving into a senior residence that already has these safety features in mind. It will have accessible building entrances, apartments and bathrooms so that you can easily move around with a mobility device. Plus, it will have emergency systems and on-site staff in case you do have an accident.

Get Rid of Clutter:

You don’t want to spend your days rifling through overstuffed closets and junk drawers. It’s much easier to live in a neat space.

The first step to decluttering is purging junk from your home. If you’re having trouble choosing what to throw away, follow the Marie Kondo method and get rid of items that you don’t need and that don’t make you happy anymore. Don’t keep things for the sake of keeping them. Let them go.

Then, focus on vertical storage to organize your remaining items. Vertical storage (floating shelves, coat racks, wall cabinets, etc.) will keep your floors as clear as possible. Limited floor space can be a tripping hazard.

Be careful not to store your items too high up. You’ll want them to be within arm’s reach, especially if they’re heavy.

Make It Brighter:

Your vision typically gets worse with age, so you don’t want to spend most of your days squinting and stumbling through dimly lit rooms. You should make your home brighter. These are a few ways that you can do this:

  • Add more light fixtures and lamps.
  • Use “cool” light bulbs instead of “warm” ones.
  • Put up lots of mirrors to reflect light.

Add Comfortable Seating:

As you get older, you might have a hard time standing up for long periods of time. So, you should have comfortable seats around the house so that you always have the opportunity to rest your joints. This tip doesn’t just mean that your living room should have a large sectional and armchairs. These other spaces should have seating:

  • Beside your front entrance so that you can easily put on your shoes on your way out the door.
  • By the kitchen counter to help you prepare meals while sitting down.
  • In your shower. The option is also a safety precaution for seniors with joint pain and balance/mobility problems.

If your home’s interior design is making life hard for you, you do something about it. A few changes can make a huge difference.