Tips for Designing Your Home For Senior Living The Vegan Way

How To Create Safe Spaces for the Elderly

SENIOR DESIGN

The uptick in a vegan lifestyle is no longer simply applying to just our eating habits; it’s in the way we live including our homes. It is expected that vegan home design will rise in popularity just as vegan food in the coming years and designers in the industry have already begun to make provisions for the shift. As homeowners, we take much pride in the design of our homes and strive for it to reflect our personalities and our needs, including our changing needs as we age. More seniors are opting to age at home and as a result, may need to adopt some changes in our home’s interior design. Just like we can now incorporate our vegan preferences in our paint choices or even our choice of natural home cleaning products, we can also create a vegan senior-friendly home using our interior design choices.

Start With Your Flooring

One of the most recommended changes for a senior-friendly and accessible living space is to change your floors. According to published work by researchers including those at Berkley Wellness at the University Of California, our balance changes as we age due to loss of muscle, declined reaction time and sometimes, poor vision.In addition, falls are one of the most reported incidents amongst seniors with 1 in 4 Americans reporting an occurrence. Therefore, you can start with removing and replacing any rugs with anti-slip options and opting for flooring made of soft material such as carpet in spaces such as your living room and bedroom.

When designing your home’s interior even the color scheme of your carpets can make an impact on your desired color scheme or theme so this is a great way to incorporate your taste. However, when it comes to choosing your carpets or rugs, avoid synthetic fabrics and opt for eco-friendly and non-toxic options instead. Chemical free carpets such as Earth Weave and Helios carpets are made from eco-friendly fabrics and treated with biodegradable treatments instead.

Opt For Sustainable Shower Curtains And Rails

As we age, our stability can also decline and tasks such as taking a shower can present itself as a potential hazard. Installing grab bars and shower railings are one of the simplest adaptations you can make to promote accessible living at home. Speaking of the bathroom, consider swapping out your plastic shower curtains for those made of organic cotton or linen. Hemp is also a great choice in for shower curtain liners since the nature of its material makes it more resistant to mold, a key issue in damp environments such as the bathroom.

Go Vegan With Your Accessories- Including Your Fabrics

Accent fabrics, pillows, and even your curtain choices play a part in not only your home decor but its accessibility to seniors. Many organizations such as PETA UK estimate that vegan fabrics   are the future of home interior design. Choosing fabrics made from cotton, hemp or even recycled polyester means you are avoiding the use of wool in the making of your throw pillows, curtains, throws, and even your couch’s fabric covering.

Not only are they more kind to the environment and its inhabitants, but some of them are also better. Organic cotton is lighter, more breathable and easier to take care of (think washing them). This eases the burden of care on seniors who may have impaired abilities and also promotes great ventilation. More specific to the needs of seniors, it is important to keep your decor thoughtful and avoid buildup and clutter. This means possibly adopting a minimalist attitude to avoid trip hazards and give free flow for navigation with the use of potential walking and movement aids.

Boost Your Lighting With Sustainable Options

Lighting in areas such as the kitchen becomes much more important as we age and our visions may be impacted. Having adjustable and strategically placed lighting can help seniors avoid accidents such as cuts when prepping their food or burns and spills when cooking. However, when are you choosing your lighting fixtures, go for the vegan-friendly lighting fixtures such as the Muulight Pendant Lightshade from London based Muunlight.com. The company promotes sustainability from production right up to its design (its lampshade is made from Japanese Kosuke paper). They are also lit using LED bulbs when is both energy efficient and negates the number of times you need to change the bulbs (yet another senior hazard).

Finally, consider accessibility in terms of your storage. This includes kitchen cabinets and closets. As we age, our reach may not be the same as it once was. This means lower placed cabinets can be a good idea. However, when designing these cabinets choose vintage or salvageable wood for your construction and natural water-based waxes or vegan paint in lieu of beeswax and other traditional finishes. Adapting your home as you age requires some changes but with a bit more consideration, you can still stay true to your belief of protecting the planet and its animals.

Deborah

About Deborah

Deborah DiMare is showing the world that no living creature need suffer or die for beautiful furniture. Her company, DiMare Design, is the only 100% cruelty free design firm in the US. Deborah demonstrates how healthier and less toxic, durable and luxurious faux alternatives can easily replace wool, fur, leather & other animal derived materials. Deborah also leads the VeganDesign.org Council, a community of industry professionals from over 60 countries seeking education and change for all living species within the skins and hides industries. Deborah is a vegan interior design expert, author and influencer for the compassionate design movement.

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