Note: This article is in response to an article of David South’s that can be found here.
Small and easy
While many seniors want and need a space-thrifty home, it’s got to be something they can easily manage on a day-to-day basis. So while I think David’s ideas for a small dome equipped with mechanized, dual-purpose furniture are practical and workable for young adults, I don’t think they’re right for seniors.
Seniors need dual-purpose furniture that’s easy – that doesn’t involve switches, flipping or turning.
Here’s what I would like.
I would like to expand the 700 to 1000 square feet that would include one bedroom, one bath, kitchen/laundry, dining/living room and office/sewing/crafting areas.
The bedroom would have twin beds that were 28 inches high, with drawers under them for linen storage and with bookcase headboards. The 28-inch height makes it easier for seniors to make the bed and change the linens.
Adjoining bathroom would have a shower (no tub) with built-in seat, handrails, easily accessed faucets, shower head that can be handheld, and enough space for a wheelchair. The shower would not have a door or curtain but would simply be partially enclosed with glass.
Many seniors, including me, do not cook three meals a day. They go to a Senior Center for a $1.50 lunch, get Meals-on-Wheels, or use coupons at local restaurants. An apartment-size refrigerator/freezer and stove, along with a toaster oven, microwave and coffee maker would suit me well. I would also like a space-saving washer/dryer combination.
In the dining area I would like a table for four mounted on drawers that pull-out easily but cannot be dislodged. My chairs would also have under-the-seat storage. Living room seating would consist of comfortable, quality cushions firmly mounted on basis with drawers or shelves for storage.
In a Monolithic Dome that needs no internal support, I would not waste space with sheetrock walls. Areas would be separated with sturdy shelves, cabinets, chests of drawers and wardrobes with nicely finished, attractive backsides.
I want windows I can wash without getting up on a ladder; pull-down, easily dusted window shades; washable, no-iron curtains; interior painted a soft egg-shell white; tile floor; doors that can accommodate a wheelchair; a small porch covered with an overhang.