Due to the range of health problems older people live with, the correct furniture options for them to have access to in their everyday life, is an imperative consideration for their wellbeing.
Observational skills are important as the person may not be able to communicate how they feel or if they are uncomfortable. There are few factors that need to be considered when selecting furniture.
Vision: Sensory Loss
Increased sensitivity to Glare.
Decreased ability to see objects clearly.
Need for Greater illumination.
Difficulty adapting to darkness and brightness.
Altered colour perception.
Narrowing field of vision.
Touch: Sensory Loss
Surface layer of the skin becomes thin and not as responsive.
Progressive decline in the sensitivity of the skin.
Sitting and lying for long periods of time in one position.
Arthritis: Mobility and Movement limitations.
Arthritis is a disease causing painful inflammation and stiffness in the joints.
The two most common forms of arthritis are Osteoarthritis which occurs when the flexible tissue at the ends of bones wears down and Rheumatoid which is a chronic inflammatory disorder affect joints.
These effect the joints in the hands, feet, wrists, ankles, spine and hips, elbows, shoulders and cervical spine.
Balance and fall: Instability
Elderly people tend to lose their balance as they experience sensory losses and changes to their body and spatial orientation.
Agility, strength and muscular control tend to reduce with ageing.
Fractures are common with hip fractures being the most prevalent.
It is important to recognize that there is a strong correlation between the nature of the falls and the environment conditions.
5 key advices to fit out the aged care facility:
Person centred care is enhanced by an environment that is conducive to a lifestyle as close as possible to that of being at home. Elderly Residence living with dementia who live in a residential facility ideally need the same amount of space as if they were living at home.
The environment in a residential facility must be monitored to provide acceptable levels of noise and stimulation. Freedom and choice of movement through the facility should be possible. Areas of quiet space for reading, relaxing or conversation and interaction with others are also important.
Furnishings within a residential facility should be home like, comfortable and well maintained. Furniture and fittings should be kept in the same place for continuity and to avoid confusion.
Small sitting areas should be made available to encourage collaborative groups and intimacy. Smaller living units could be considered which would be a way to avoid confusion, noise and encourage a home like environment.
The other fact to be taken into account when choosing furniture is that not all Residents will be the same weight and size. A large number would have lost weight and become frail and shorter, therefor requiring smaller chairs that offer support for their arms and easy to get out of while some of the population might be obese requiring larger dining and lounge chairs to accommodate them. A variety of seating styles throughout the facility is the best way to facilitate this and provide furniture that they can all feel comfortable in.
Healthcare Furniture Australia have dedicated sales staff to help you understand the reasons why specific pieces of furniture fit within certain spaces taking into account residents wants and needs.