It’s important that design be done with both elderly residents and their families in mind. One of the worst mistakes a designer can make is to design a room that’s not functional. It’s important to realize that one of the most important features in senior living, retirement, and nursing homes are door handles. An easy to open, properly functioning door is something that should be incorporated into the design of all rooms and homes for the elderly and disabled.
Door Handles for Residents
Door handles should be chosen and incorporated into design with easy access being at the front of your mind. Elderly residents often times have disabilities that prevent the necessary movements required to turn a doorknob. Design should take this into consideration. One of the things that’s recommended is to get the opinion of the elderly home facility. What kinds of problems are their residents having when opening doors? What design features seem to work best? What makes things easier for residents? The answers to these questions can be invaluable information that will help you come up with the perfect design. Many residents find a door latch that uses a push/pull activation system instead of a twisting motion works better. The UltraLatch uses a push/pull activation system.
Door Handles for Families
It’s often forgotten, but the resident’s family will have to access the room as often as the resident. It’s important that design be done with this in mind. Door handles (like our UltraLatch) should be easy enough to operate that family members can simply open the door and walk in the room. No hidden locks, tricks, or gimmicks. It should be easy. The worst thing that can happen is blocked access due to a complicated, confusing door handle. This can be annoying and even dangerous.
Special Door Hardware
Special door hardware is now more readily available than ever. There are numerous options available to designers. Keep in mind that you’re designing for both the resident and their family and you’ll be able to make a good decision when choosing the best type of special door hardware. Always remember: the goal is easy access.
The job of designing for the elderly and disabled is a tricky one. When you keep the goal of safe and easy access in mind, it becomes much easier. Use some of the ideas presented in this article to help you. Residents and their families will thank you.