The process of aging can be a beautiful transition, but a difficult one as well. There are certain actions you can take to improve your quality of life as you age. One of these actions is choosing the appropriate furniture. Purchasing the right furniture will help you live more comfortably and reduce the potential difficulties inherent in daily living. It can help increase your mobility, independence, and general quality of life. Here are some tips for choosing furniture as a senior.
Aesthetics should not be the only guiding factor in your furniture selection process. It is essential that your furniture provides the proper support for your body. If you struggle with health conditions or chronic pain, a supportive armchair or sofa can make all the difference in terms of your comfort. If you begin to develop problems with your joints, finding furniture that offers support is essential.
As you shop for new furniture, make sure to consider your height, weight, and center of gravity. When shopping for a chair, choose a seat that feels soft, but offers firm support. Make sure your chair isn’t too high or too low—when you sit, your thighs should be parallel to the floor. It’s also important to find a chair with lumbar and neck support.
Make Sure It’s Sturdy
Many seniors will come to rely on their furniture to support them when standing up, sitting down, or walking in or between rooms. For this reason, it is critical to ensure that your furniture is strong and sturdy. In particular, furniture with armrests can be especially helpful in offering support to your movement. Checking that your furniture is made out of quality materials can help ensure that your purchase is sturdy and will last. Most of the wood used in Amish furniture tends to be harder and more rugged than more commonly used materials.
Ease of Transport
Another quality you should consider when choosing furniture is ease of transport. If you have to move into a new living space as a senior, you will want your furniture to present as few difficulties as possible. Even if you don’t have to completely relocate to a new living space, purchasing furniture that is easy to move will allow you greater control and flexibility over the arrangement of your living quarters. Buying furniture that is easy to transport will also help you retain your independence if you don’t have access to the help of many friends or family members and don’t want to pay for other moving help.
Comfort is one of the most important aspects of your furniture. While aesthetics, quality, and construction are all important factors to consider, the ultimate requirement for your furniture will likely be comfort. If you struggle with health concerns (or even if you don’t), you will appreciate having comfortable furniture in your living space. You might spend more time sitting due to limited mobility so you will want your furniture to increase your comfort, not exacerbate your pain. Choosing comfortable furniture will also help your home feel like a sanctuary.
Choosing the right furniture should not break the bank. Make sure to look at your finances and set a specific budget for your furniture shopping. If you do not have the funds to re-furnish your entire home, consider assessing your priorities and spending the money to buy a few, good-quality pieces of furniture, rather than many low-quality ones. Consider shopping for your furniture at clearance sales; you can often find quality pieces for low prices. Looking for furniture with multiple functions can also help you stay within your budget.
Easy to Maintain
Buying furniture that is easy to maintain will help decrease your stress and increase your comfort. Try to choose furniture with durable fabrics and materials, such as vinyl, microfiber, or other synthetic fabrics. These fabrics are a good choice because they look nice while also being easily spot-cleaned with a damp towel and mild dish soap. You might also consider purchasing a slipcover for your furniture. If spills happen, the slipcover can be removed and washed in the washing machine. Cleaning delicate furniture can be difficult if your eyesight has deteriorated or have arthritis or other painful conditions, so low maintenance will be an important quality in your selected pieces.
Prioritizing accessibility as you shop for furniture will help you maintain your mobility. There are many things you should think about when it comes to accessibility. If you use a wheelchair, make sure your furniture will provide enough room to accommodate that. If you have joint pain or difficulty standing up or sitting down, make sure your furniture will help you, instead of hinder you; buying a chair that sags will make it more difficult to get in and out of. You should also make sure your furniture is easy to adjust for your body and your needs. Lift chairs and adjustable beds can be helpful options for some.
Things to Avoid
It is also important to be aware of qualities you should avoid when buying furniture. Avoid purchasing furniture with sharp corners, glass edges, or legs that curve outward and could cause potential trips or falls. You should also avoid bulky furniture that will occupy space that may become essential to maintaining your mobility as you age. Avoid furniture that will slip easily if you put your weight against it. Avoid furniture that will cause you to bend too low or reach too high. Taking your current and future health conditions into consideration will help you find the right furniture for you.
As you prepare to buy furniture to best suit your life as you age, make sure to consider the ways your furniture will fit your needs. Choose colors and textures that appeal to you visually and make you happy. Look for pieces that will offer good support, be sturdy, comfortable, and easily transported. Choose furniture that is within your budget and easy to maintain and access. By considering these characteristics as you shop, you will improve your comfort and overall quality of life.
Looking for a place to move where you’ll be around others in your age group? Check out our list of homes for sale in senior communities!