Designing for the aging

Ergo door handle in stainless steel by Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles CA  90016 Photo Doug Hill

Ergo door handle in stainless steel by Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles CA  90016

Photo Doug Hill

Interior designers are a versatile group.  Some design and help create beautiful residences that their clients call Home.  Others create business and commercial environments that inspire creativity and productivity and provide a welcome greeting to their clients, or design beautiful getaways such as spas and boutique hotels.  And there are those designers who specialize in creating comfortable and accessible spaces for people who may struggle with physical limitations as a result of aging or illness.

Designing for the aging is a specialty in itself.  Aging in place is always the goal but consideration needs to be given to several seemingly innocuous areas in the design of both residential and senior communities, including:

  • Widening doorways and entrances to accomodate wheelchairs and other devices
  • Reducing or eliminating thresholds from room to room to avoid trip hazards
  • Lever style door handles and door hardware that make opening doors and cabinetry easier for aging hands
  • Proper and sufficient task and ambient lighting, especially in "danger" areas such as stairways 
  • A color scheme that not only provides inviting color but enough contrast to distinguish transitions from room to room.
  • Eliminate the use of area rugs that can be a tripping or falling hazard
  • Open floor plans 

This design specialty becomes more important as the baby boomer population continues to age.  According to the US Census Bureau, by the year 2025 nearly 20% of the population will be age 65 or over.  Our retirement years are more active and older Americans anticipate a different retirement than their parents experienced.  All of these factors need to be taken into consideration when re-designing an existing home for the occupant's changing physical needs or designing a brand new senior living facility that will accomodate the residents and their needs for the remainder of their lives.

To view our Ergo collection of architectural hardware, or our entire collection of door handles and door hardware, please visit our site at www.martinpierce.com.

Designers can visit the showroom located at:

5433 W. Washington Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA  90016

Tel: 323-939-5929