Designing Your Home for Visually Impaired Individuals
People lose their vision for a variety of reasons. Some are born visually impaired while others may suffer a traumatic accident or lose their vision due to an underlying medical condition. In addition to creating a space that is safe, you also want to design a space that boosts independence.
Homes can be equipped with smart technology, which allows for voice-activation response systems. Since visual impairment can vary, it’s important to create a space that functions autonomously. Lights, thermostats and even fans can be controlled with voice. Televisions and speakers can also be used via smart technology, making daily routines easier and more enjoyable. Magnolia Homes takes this into account during design and customizes spaces so they have a more personalized touch.
Home interior plays a key role when designing for someone with a visual impairment. While some types of design can remain the same, like placement of toilets and sinks, there are details that can be altered to make life easier for someone who has lost their vision.
Even people who suffer from a visual impairment want to be independent. As such, the interior of a home needs to reflect the special needs while allowing for high levels of independence. To make differentiating the rooms easier, choose different colors of paint.
This will allow for better clarity when visually impaired people are moving about. Brighter colors are easier for people to see, even if they suffer from partial blindness. You can also install brighter lights in rooms that don’t have a lot of natural light.
At Magnolia Homes, we can help you reduce the risk of falls and serious injuries by installing hardwood or laminate flooring. Carpets pose a serious threat to those with less than perfect vision, especially area rugs that can lift up and can cause tripping.
If you do have area rugs, make sure they are securely attached to the floor with rug tape and that the ends do not lift when walked upon. The same holds true for staircases and railings. Always make sure that railings are tightened and that the stairs are easy to navigate. We can help to install non-slip step pads to ensure safety.
When it comes to furniture, less is usually better. Nightstands, end tables and unnecessary ornamental pieces can cause serious injury, so make sure that if these are in the home, that they are in a place that doesn’t pose a threat. The key is to create an inviting space that is safe and easy for someone who is visually impaired to navigate without injury. Magnolia Homes offers a variety of pieces that are functional and aid creating a safe space.
Also, it’s a good idea to leave furniture in its original spot and not move it around. People suffering from vision loss use pieces of furniture as landmarks, which then guide them in the direction they need to go.
Magnolia Homes can help you design your kitchen in a specific way. We can help you place countertops and sinks at waist level. Items within the kitchen should also be color coded for easy recognition. If someone in your family is completely blind, swap out colors for Braille indicators that can be easily read.
Also, make sure the kitchen is stocked with measuring cups and spoons to aid in food preparation. These can also be color coded or embossed with Braille to make food preparation easier.
Living as a blind person, or someone who is partially blind, doesn’t mean you need to give up living. While certain accommodations do need to be made, we can help make living easier and more enjoyable.