Financial Express print this

A room for the elders in your home
FE Report

Mahbuba is happy. When she was about to quit her job to look after her baby her mother-in law arrived in the house. She looks after the little girl allowing Mahbuba to perform her job tension free. He elderly woman lives in a room having an attached bathroom. In fact this room is the room for Mahbuba's daughter too who spends her time with the grandmother.
All houses have a good living and dining room, comfortable kitchen and toilet but quite rarely does a house have a comfortable or designer space for parents, who are aged and are going to spend most of the time in these rooms. Bedrooms for the parents are far more than just any other bedroom.
They are a token of our gratitude to them for all that we are, and need to be treated similar to that of a living room. To ensure this, the total experience of this living space must be similar to that of a living room, a miniature home in itself.
The volume of the living space contributes greatly to the character of the spatial experience. Even the slightest increase in room size will increase the comfort level. However a room of gigantic scale will lead to lack of intimacy and a sense of insecurity. The room can have a separate entry. A small pantry can be provided inside the room for tea.
Changes in floor levels such as elevated or sunken platforms should be avoided here, a uniform floor is far more secure for the users. Activity stimulating spaces help in creating a sense of belonging in the users. An alcove space for prayers or meditation within the room is a good example of the same.
Creation of a barrier free space environment is the primary consideration in the design of room for the aged. Avoiding sharp edges can be a means of making the space safe. Safety is paramount in the design of toilets too. It is essential that the tile drop is very minimal.
Wall-hung water closets with a low seat height of about 1'6" from the finished floor level will help in making the toilet safe for usage. Doors that open outwards are advisable as that helps one to break open the door open easily, if needed.
Glass partitions, transportation cubicles and use of glass blocks are to be avoided as they hinder privacy. Seated bathing area can also be included with enough space for an attendant.
Entry of natural light through large windows with low sills will help in creating a healthy environment. On the contrary, windows are to be avoided in the eastern and western walls to prevent the direct rays.
The choice of finishing material is very critical. The floor is to be finished with non-slippery tiles or slabs. The toilet and bathroom floors are to be finished with anti-skid tiles, for preventing accidents. The vertical surfaces can be finished with a good emulsion or smooth wall paint.
The use of fire retardant materials will increase or elevate the safety standards of living Easy to use plumbing/sanitary fittings, good and safe electrical wiring are all means to achieve better and safe living conditions. Paying attention to each minor architectural detail such as rounding off the edges of furniture will not only mean better comfort but also better safety.
An easily reachable AC control switch, and calling bell is a must in this room.