Monday, April 27, 2009

Interior design for senior citizen

commercial interior design home interior design ideas
Designing interiors for senior citizens involves careful planning and attention to detail.

The process of designing a house or project specifically tailored towards the needs of senior citizens is quite different from that of designing a conventional one. A typical senior citizen project would involve creating facilities, infrastructure, and amenities specially geared for elderly people.

For instance, in place of a regular gym, one should provide for a physiotherapy centre along with a doctor's clinic. Similarly, instead of a regular elevator, a stretcher elevator is preferred and a library, which is not a standard feature of conventional projects, would be useful.

Some essential things to be kept in mind while designing for senior citizens is that there should be strictly no glossy surfaces or steps at every stage. Sharp edges must also be avoided, so one of the most important aspects of the interiors is that all the edges are rounded off.

The colour palette used in such projects should be subdued and pastel shades are advisable in the amenities and apartment areas. Harsh colours, which might be jarring to elderly people, should be avoided. Natural light with deep overhangs should be encouraged so that there is light without glare.

One has to also pay attention to the internal fixtures, as they can make the day-today life of senior citizens much easier. For instance, an emergency alert system in the bedrooms and bathrooms, emergency lights in every room and extra wide passages with lounge seating on every floor. Grip rails should be provided along with handrails in the bathrooms.

While the cost increase of such items would be about 10 to 15 percent, the cost impact is more in the area of amenities and furnishing. The ratio of amenities to be provided in such a project is much higher than a conventional project. The ratio of amenities to the carpet area on such projects is about 60 percent, as against 20 to 25 percent for a conventional project. However, ideally, these facilities and infrastructure have to be incorporated right at the planning stage - incorporating them after the project is ready is not feasible.

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