Home Decoration for Older Adults

How to Make Your Home Feel Cozy Without Throw Rugs

Caregiving homes need to be free of scatter rugs and other floor clutter that can cause a fall. How do you put safety first but also create a home that's cozy and inviting?

Stencil a rug onto the floor.

It's possible to stencil tile or wood floors. Stencils can be purchased at most craft stores. Use liquid acrylics or latex for tile and a stain on wood.

Stencils come in florals, scrolls, and geometric designs. Feeling creative? You could even stencil your favorite quote or create your own design freehand. For wood floors, sand the surface lightly first, and consider finishing with a thin coat of polyurethane to give it a protective sheen.

In just an hour or two you can have a permanent and safe rug design you'll enjoy -- and your visitors will be impressed.

Go wall-to-wall.

A pricier alternative is installing wall-to-wall carpeting. Ideally, don't limit the makeover to a single room, however. Carpeting is safest when it continues right into hallways and bedroom -- eliminating the shifts in surface that are likely to cause your loved one to trip.

Introduce greenery.

Bringing the outside in can be a free way to make the home feel warmer. You don't even need a cutting garden in your backyard -- try snipping greenery (such as palms, azalea, forsythia, or tree branches) and arranging them where your loved one can't miss them.

Don't stop at the dining room table. Place a few sprays in the bedroom or in the bathroom. Bonus: Plants and flowers in the home lower stress.

Use warm lighting.

We tend to think about lighting as something functional rather than mood-creating, but it's both. One fun, easy idea to add warm, soft light to a room is to wrap curtain rods with clear Christmas-style lights. Make sure you have table or floor lamps to illuminate corners, too. Your loved one's favorite chair should have an easy-to-turn-on lamp within immediate reach.

over 4 years ago, said...

One must be careful with stenciling.. sudden changes in colors on floors are often percieved by those with memory difficulites as holes or something to fall into.

over 4 years ago, said...

Another option -- 3M makes a product called TEKK rug anchor system which has thin velcro-like pads which attach to the mats and the floor, although you could probably still accidentally slip your feet underneath one of the non-anchored parts, and if this is a concern, I would still consider thin and large surface-area carpets in well thought-out locations. Even some floors are not slip-proof, though.

over 4 years ago, said...

I like the idea about the Christmas style lights on the curtain rods. Since we can now buy LED lights that do not give off heat and last forever(nearly) this makes great sense to light up and cheer window alcoves all year round. They create just enough light so things are not so dark when other lights are off. Definitley will do this. Very Cheery idea. !!!! We have plants, Wall to Wall, kitchen & baths are bare floors, use nite lights in the hallways&bedrooms. I do have entry way mats for back and front door for scuffing feet and not slipping on a wet floor when entering. They are secured with tape so they don't move around, and they have sloped edges so less likely to cause any tripping. Sonia also has a means of holding onto something when coming through the doorway, stepping over any threshhold seems to cause an anxiety response, so we put in a hand hold area similar to what you use in a bathroom, lots less anxiety that way. She just grabs it and walks in, or walks out without feeling fearful.

over 4 years ago, said...

That is very interesting about the stenciling, but I am afraid it would not be an ejoying time for me...my partner is all with the measuring thing and we just are not agreeing...well not today anyway.