When looking for senior living furniture, it’s important to consider how custom furniture can provide the freedom, mobility, and social life crucial to the well-being and longevity of your residents. Here are a few ways you can design your space with their best interests in mind:
Senior Living Furniture Should Enhance Freedom
By the time residents have left the comfort of their own home for the security of a senior living community, they may feel as if they are losing their last ounce of their freedom. Thankfully, that doesn’t need to be the case. Solid armrests can allow residents to pull themselves up without assistance and custom height chairs or sofas can grant them the ability to get up on their own and move about the community as they wish—something that becomes increasingly more important as they age.
“Imagine not being able to get out of your chair without someone else’s assistance,” says Brooke Fredericks, Owner of Right at Home in Southern Oregon, “that one disability could cost you hours of independence—not to mention the ability to do what you want to do when you want to do it.” By providing custom built furniture that allows residents to get up on their own, senior living communities can give residents back their independence!
Senior Living Furniture Should Enable Mobility
Senior living communities understand that losing mobility can be akin to losing their health. As Harvard instructor Dr. Suzanne Salamon says, “If you’re unable to get out then you can’t go shopping, you can’t go out with your friends to eat dinner or go to the movies, and you become dependent on other people to get you places.” When residents become socially recluse, they start to stay home more, and eventually become immobile. In turn, immobility can cause incontinence, urinary infections, skin infections, and other ailments.
For this reason, it’s important for senior living communities to emphasize and enable mobility as much as possible. Consider, for example, a resident who can’t move more than twenty steps. If a community or social gathering is farther than twenty steps away, it’s likely he or she might not even try for it in the first place. This could lead the resident to stay in his or her apartment more often, to move less often, and to eventually become unable to move farther than ten steps, reducing their mobility at the expense of their health and well-being.
However, if a senior living facility strategically places custom height benches and chairs every twenty steps throughout the community, residents become empowered to venture out of their rooms, walk twenty steps to the nearest bench, and then rest for awhile before continuing their journey to the community event. This simple change encourages mobility, increases longevity, and decreases the isolation felt should they not be able to leave the confines of their rooms.
Senior Living Furniture Should Facilitate Social Activities
In the same vein, senior living communities know how important social communication can be to prevent the isolation and loneliness so often associated with the aging population. Many residents have lost a spouse, or no longer live close to their children,” says Brooke, “by providing spaces that feel like a living room and encourage residents to get together and socialize, senior living communities can make a big difference in the quality of life of their residents.”
That means providing furniture and fixtures that that are custom designed for people who may have a limited range of motion. Drawers that are readily accessible while standing or while sitting in a wheelchair, with drawer pulls that can accommodate those with limited strength or arthritic hands or joints, can significantly ease social dinners or events, allowing residents to move about and even host guests on their own.
Senior Living Furniture Should Make Residents Feel at Home
Perhaps most importantly, senior living furniture should allow residents to feel at home. Often the hardest part of moving out of your own home is losing that sense of comfort. Cozy spaces with good lighting can provide a place for residents to read or visit with family—and that can make the difference between feeling like they are staying in a residence, or feeling like they are living in their own home.
To this end, it’s important for senior living communities to choose well-designed furniture that feels like a taste of home—while providing the safety features they need to feel self-sufficient. Well designed tables and desks can allow residents to write letters to their families while accommodating wheelchair access. Electrical housing can allow residents to stay in touch with their communities via computer while keeping cords out of their way. Even rounded corners can allow residents to move about their apartments while reducing any bumps and bruises.
Custom furniture can be completely life changing when it comes to the health and well-being of senior living communities. Northland Furniture provides safe, sophisticated, and comfortable, senior living furniture that can be customized to the needs of your residents while allowing them to feel at home. Our furniture is custom built in beautiful Bend, Oregon and is designed according to your exact specifications. Shop our senior living collection or contact us for more information.