Design for the Ages 4A
One of the most difficult challenges faced by the elderly is the loss of mobility. Many senior citizens are confined to wheelchairs or are dependent upon walking aids due to complications from strokes, diabetes, and a number of other conditions that greatly inhibit their ability to move around in their environment. In addition to this, many public buildings, offices, and even neighborhood sidewalks are not designed to accommodate a mobility impaired person, further restricting where they are able to go. Many times, due to the age of the structure or poor planning, the problem of accessibility exists within the home. Making a home more accessible through furniture placement and the addition of adaptive equipment will be the focus of this project.
One of your grandparents has recently become wheelchair bound due to a fall and they are asking you, their favorite grandchild, for help. They need your assistance modifying their home to make it more accessible and safe for both of them. They would like you to create a new layout for their home by rearranging their furniture to allow enough room for a wheelchair to navigate through the house. They would also like you to create a list of adaptive equipment such as shower chairs and grab bars you think is necessary to accomplish their goal of a fully accessible and safe home.
- Using the first set of links below, research the ways in which homes can be modified to accommodate a mobility impaired person. Be sure to take notes so that you can use the information you find to help you complete your own design.
- Using the information gained from your search, examine your grandparent's existing floor plan and identify any problems you see with furniture placement.
- Print out a blank floor plan and furniture template. Using scissors and glue, cut and paste the furniture inside the home, arranging it in a way that allows greater accessibility. It is not necessary to use all of the furniture and you may wish to utilize the wheelchair template to assist you in determining proper spacing of these items.
- Using the second grouping of links below, compile a list of adaptive equipment needed for the home including the cost and where it can be purchased. A totaled list of items to be purchased along with a written explanation of all changes you made within the home will be recorded on the final modification sheet.
- Lastly, you will be required to fill out a personal reflection where you will describe what you learned about the elderly, mobility issues, and accessibility modifications as you worked on your project.
The website links below provide helpful information about modifying living spaces to make them
accessible for all:
The website links below will aid you in your search for adaptive equipment:
Medical Supplies & Equipment
Final Modification Sheet
You will be evaluated based on the following:
- Your ability to research your topic on the internet.
- The completed floor plan.
- Final modification sheet including all modifications made to the house as well as an itemized list of adaptive equipment and place of purchase.
- Personal reflection
Upon completion of your "Design for the Ages", you will have become aware of the mobility and accessibility issues facing the elderly and the ways to modify structures making them accessible for all. In addition, you will be able to use this knowledge to help older family members and one day yourself live an active and independent life.