Making your living room more functional doesn’t always have to involve an entire renovation. Making small adjustments can help you function more easily throughout your home. Here are some easy fixes that make a big difference:
1. Change The Legs On Your Seating
One of the most common problems with seating in common areas for seniors is getting in and out of low chairs. The easiest way to remedy this is to add higher legs (if possible) to the couch you already own. This method works well if your couch is in fairly good condition. If you own seating that is very deep or has that “sink-in” quality, it may be time to think about something a little bit sturdier. When shopping for replacement legs for your couch, make sure that they fit with your personal specifications. Generally, the height of your lounge furniture should be at the same height as a regular chair.
2. Change Angled Legs
Whether it’s your couch or your coffee table, angled chair legs make it much easier to slip and fall, especially if you are experiencing visual disturbances. All legs of chairs, sofas, and coffee tables should line up with their edges and be a contrasting colour to your carpeting (if you have it) so that they are easy to see and move around.
3. Choose Smart Bulbs and Plugs
Smart bulbs and plugs allow you to control your devices without having to reach up or bend down. It also, most importantly, allows you to turn the lights on in your living room before you enter it, making it safer and easier to move around.
4. Secure Your Carpeting
Lots of articles detailing accessible spaces discourage carpeting that isn’t throughout, but decorative rugs don’t have to be off-limits if you have mobility issues. Simply make sure that the rugs you do have in your home are safely and securely stuck to the floor. You can do this easily with anything from double-sided tape to velcro so that you don’t have to compromise style or safety.
5. Measure Your Space
Do you have a wheelchair you are currently using? Maybe you have a walker that you like to use when you manoeuvre around your home. If you have either of these items or would just like a more cohesive living room, measure your spaces to make sure that you can easily move around with your mobility issues. Living room furniture is heavy, and it’s not always an option to move things around yourself. Measure the mobility aids that you regularly use, and make sure that there is enough space for them between the coffee table and the couch, or behind the couch and any shelving or reading areas so that you can move through your home without bumping into things or potentially falling.
When it comes to making your home as accessible as possible, there are so many ways to change your space to fit your lifestyle. If you’re looking for more information, check out our resources, or check out the full IA Checklist here.