With the influx of baby boomers reaching the age of 65 or olderby 2030, senior living communities should be prepared for the growth in community population and their expected higher standard of living, including increased accessibility.
Accessible adaptations don’t just benefit people with disabilities, but those without them, too. For example, building wheelchair-accessible walkways and ramps can help prevent falls in able-bodied residents by improving mobility around the community and minimizing the use of stairs.
Both small and foundationalchanges can go into making a community more accessible. Bigger changes include creating a single-level community or implementing community-wide accessible technology. The smaller changes, however, can have just as big of an impact on residents.
According to Pew Research Center, 87% of adults ages 50-64 are active online. When those older adults begin researching potential senior living communities, it’s beneficial for senior living organizations to have an accessible website. Take these elements into consideration for future residents:
Beware of visual elements such as color, clear contrast between background and foreground and font size.
If you have a video or audio clip on your website, make sure there is a clear distinction between the voices and any background music, as seniors can have difficulty separating sounds. There should also be an option for Closed Captioning or an available transcript for hard-of-hearing seniors.
The physical and cognitive abilities of users can impact whether they’re able to click on small links or targets and stay focused on the complex navigation of the website.
Low vision is a common impairment experienced in seniors over 60. This shouldn’t stop them from being active participants in their community. To accommodate residents with vision loss, learn how to use contrast to your advantage. Paint the trim of doors a different color than the walls, place darker-colored table mats on a white table, or put contrasting-colored tape on stairs. You can also alert low-vision residents when there’s been a change in furniture placement, so they don’t risk bumping into anything.
The best way to improve your community is to ask residents with disabilities what they think would make the community more accessible. The best way to build a better future for your community is to ask the existing residents what they think the community is missing.
For example, if someone who uses a wheelchair thinks that the existing ramps are too steep, take that into consideration for future renovation projects. If a hard-of-hearing resident thinks that the loud speaker in your community is too low, consider adjusting the volume.
Wellzesta aims to accommodate residents with disabilities and create a user-friendly experience.
Wellzesta Life provides residents with a way to communicate, receive information, and be active within their community from the comfort of their own homes.
Our Wellzesta platforms also have a “read aloud” option, where low-vision users can opt to have the app read the page they are looking at aloud.
Click here to learn more about how Wellzesta can help your community.