Designing a home and trying to come up with an optimal layout can be quite tricky. Even more so if you have a family member with special needs. Taking care of a loved one with special needs can be quite challenging on its own but when faced with the need to readjust your living space in order to cater to their needs, some people might even end up feeling overwhelmed.
However, there really is no need to feel that way. Adjusting your home with your loved one’s needs in mind will be easier than you think. Here are some useful tips that will help you make all the right decisions when your home’s interior is in question. Check them out.
Know your goal
Since “special needs” is quite the umbrella term, there are different design elements you should be focusing on. If your loved one is struggling with poor eyesight, you might want to make sure that you boost the indoor lighting as much as possible in each room of the house by layering different lighting solutions throughout your home. Pay special attention to hallways, as they tend to be the darkest areas in any home.
Alternatively, if your family member relies on using a wheelchair to get around the house, make sure you remove any obstacles from the floors, such as cables and rugs, to enable them to move freely throughout the space. Furthermore, you should also see if you can make your hallways and door frames wider, so that the wheelchair can comfortably fit through. Even the people who are otherwise in excellent physical health but have aged to a point where they can no longer perform all the mundane activities with ease can be classified as people with special needs.
So, if that’s the case, and you’re living with a senior loved one, aside from making sure that every part of your home is well-illuminated, you should also install handrails throughout your hallways to enable them to move around more confidently, knowing that they have something sturdy to grab onto in case they happen to lose their balance.
Prioritize the necessary changes
Now, since these remodels and changes can range from quite the easy and cheap ones all the way to pricier and more large-scale ones, you should make sure that you prioritize all the necessary changes to ensure that you’ll have both enough time and resources to really see them through.
Aside from meticulously taking care of the budgeting step, you should also try to prioritize the readjustments and see which ones are more crucial than the others. Furthermore, see if you can take care of any of them yourself. For instance, redoing the bathroom and readjusting it to cater the needs of your family member should be on the top of your list, so that they are able to take care of their basic hygiene without struggling to overcome numerous obstacles. Furthermore, relocating lighting switches and making them easier to use and more accessible is another thing that’s best taken care of sooner, rather than later.
Finally, projects like removing the carpets, securing furniture pieces to the wall or floor to prevent tipping and getting all of you cables off the ground is definitely a project that’s easy to take care of on your own, which means it won’t require virtually any resources.
Make the space cozy and comfortable
With all the new changes made to your interior, your home might lose some of its hominess and warmth. That’s why you should see to it in the end that you try and bring some of that warmth and coziness back into your home.
Start off with adding plenty of greenery to your interior space, as they are known to have a positive effect on our psyche, as well as our overall well-being. Choose plants that are easy to maintain and even see to it that you add a couple of plants that bring good luck according to Feng Shui because we all can definitely use some more luck on our side. Furthermore, invest in soft and comfortable throw blankets and covers, so that you can all cuddle in and enjoy spending time with each other at the end of the day.
Finally, you can even install voice-operated light switches with dimmers that will allow you to control the level of illumination you wish to have in your rooms at any given moment, without having to get up and manually change it yourself.
So, when faced with a need to design and decorate a living space with a person with special needs in mind focus on practicality and the ease of access. However, that doesn’t mean that the style and the coziness of the space need to be compromised – au contraire! It simply means that you’ll be required to step out of your comfort zone and think outside the box for a bit until you come up with the best solution that will marry the practicality and style in perfect harmony.
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