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Access 21 Interiors
One of the common questions we are asked is how to provide the safety features and wayfinding pointers that residents need whilst still maintaining a homely, comfortable environment?
- Handrails need to be provided at the correct height and which contrast to the walls and carpets but which complement both; Inverted studs or similar should be provided at the end of each run so that residents with visual difficulties know when they are nearing the end of the rail.
- There is a wide variety of safety flooring for care in a range of finishes which look domestic, but try to avoid changes of height - when unavoidable (eg ramps and stairs) then highlight the change to avoid falls.
- Chairs, toilets etc have to be at a height which are easy for residents to rise from and which contrast to the flooring and walls around.
- Avoid trailing wires and clutter (eg delivery boxes) particularly on the floors which can cause trips.
- Always try and make the purpose of the room clear (eg tablecloths on dining tables, books and magazines in lounges) and preferably use glazing from the corridor so residents can see into the room.
- For directional signs, there are many on the market which are clear without being patronising or institutional, whilst using a combination of text, pictures and colour can help greatly.
- Use different colour schemes for each floor and theme artwork for that floor, and a range of co-ordinating colours on bedroom doors so that residents can easily find their bedroom.
Making the home more homely and comfortable:
- Soften areas with pictures, cushions and photoframes, adding flowers in pretty vases and plants of varying sizes.
- Offer a range of seating in different sizes and textures so that residents can find a chair to suit their individual needs as far as possible.
- Position pictures at a lower height so that residents in wheelchairs or who use walking frames can appreciate them too.
- Try and position furniture in small groups.