How to Decorate an Assisted Living Apartment
Is your parent moving to an assisted living apartment? Do you have questions about how to decorate the new space? We have the answers!
To help you through the process, we’d like to share these 5 tips for decorating an assisted living apartment.
Answers to the most common questions seniors have about moving to assisted living
Top 5 Tips for Decorating an Assisted Living Apartment
1. Use existing pieces to add a personal, homey touch.
It might be tempting to go out and buy a bunch of fun new things to decorate the apartment with, but it’s always a good idea to incorporate a few existing pieces of furniture, artwork and decor. That will help make the new apartment feel more like home right away.
Of course, you don’t want to bring everything your parent owns. No matter how spacious the apartment is, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to fit a house worth of furniture in it. That’s why it’s important to downsize (or rightsize) belongings before making the move. Decide which items are most important and practical, and bring those—the rest can be sold, donated or given to family members.
2. Consider multi-functional furniture.
Multi-functional furniture can help get the most out of the new space. Furniture that serves more than one purpose can help you save valuable floor space, meaning more room for the resident and their belongings.
Here are some examples of multi-functional furniture pieces that are great for assisted living apartments:
Drop leaf tables. These classic table types are a great way to save some space, whether they’re being used as a desk, an end table or even a dining table to entertain guests for a nice cup of coffee and an afternoon chat.
Stackable or foldable chairs. A lot of people think that there are strict visiting hours at an assisted living community. This simply isn’t the case at most communities. At Optalis, for example, family and friends are allowed to visit 24/7. If your parent enjoys entertaining, you might want to consider bringing extra seating that can be tucked away to conserve space after the guests have left for the day.
Space-saving desks. Does your parent enjoy writing, sketching or crafting? A desk is a great surface for a lot of different hobbies, but they can be bulky. Never fear, though! Think like a college kid and use a smaller desk with a fold-up top and plenty of drawer storage space.
Shelves and drawers galore. Try to look for furniture that has extra storage space built-in. With the recent tiny house trend, there are plenty of options out there for furniture that does double duty as storage space. For example, you look for an end table that’s entirely drawers, a footstool with a top that comes off to reveal storage space or simply multi-purpose shelves to store everything from reading glasses to suitcases.
3. Design with safety in mind.
Senior living communities are designed with senior safety in mind. This is vital because in addition to creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere, interior design can affect the health and well-being of seniors. For example, a senior living space should avoid slippery flooring, utilize outdoor spaces to encourage healthy sun exposure and offer firm, upright seating that’s easy to get up from.
Of course, that safety shouldn’t stop when a resident is back in their room. When decorating, try to avoid loose rugs that might cause a senior to trip or fall. Make sure there’s a lot of lighting, with bedside lamps that are easy to reach. Use furniture with drawers that have large, easy-to-grab doorknobs.
In the meantime, while your parent is still living at home, check out this home safety checklist for Central Ohio seniors.
4. Arrange furniture carefully.
In keeping with senior safety, you want to be sure your parent’s room is easy to navigate. Aside from making it more convenient for them to get around, it can also cut down on falls if the room has clear paths and wide walkways.
Using a floor plan of your parent’s new apartment, you can diagram where furniture can go before the move. If your parent uses a wheelchair or walker, keep that in mind as you plan the space with them.
5. Keep hobbies in mind.
Just because your parent is in a new space doesn’t mean they can’t still do what they love. If your parent loves to embroider, think about using a utility cart to hold their supplies. If they like to scrapbook, make sure there’s a space for them to lay out the pages. If they’re a collector, look into space-efficient shelving.
If your parent loves to socialize, there will also be common spaces for them to enjoy at the assisted living community, and there will be plenty of social and recreational activities for them to take part in and meet new people.
Downsizing? Don’t forget about the emotional side of decluttering
Assisted Living for Central Ohio Seniors
Finding the right place for your senior parent can be difficult. You want to find a community that will give your parent the highest quality care while helping them maintain their lifestyle.