Do you live with an elderly relative and worry about them going outside? While most elderly people love enjoying the garden, traditional patios pose a number of risks. Flooring can become slippery when wet, increasing the risk of falls. They're open to the elements, so there's a chance of sunburn or heatstroke during the summer and a risk of getting too cold in winter. And, if there isn't enough apprporiate seating, your relative won't be able to spend much time outside.
Luckily, all of these problems can be solved. Read on to find out exactly how to create a patio that's safe for you and your relative to enjoy.
Invest in a Queensland enclosure
A Queensland enclosure is a wonderful way to turn a patio into a room. A low-height wall will be installed around the patio, and sashes can be pulled up from this, creating a convervatory-style room anytime you want it. The walls can be adjusted to different heights, making them really versatile. In winter, you can keep your relative warm and safe by pulling the walls up to their full heights. In summer, choosing a lower height allows a pleasant breeze and full view of the garden. The sashes are made using mesh to keep insects out, so there's less risk of your relative being bothered by bug bites.
Choose non-slip flooring
Many traditional patio tiles can be quite slippery, particularly when it's wet. Choosing textured tiles gives more grip and reduces the risk of slipping. If there are any steps down from your patio, ensure that they're in contrasting colors to help your relative see them clearly and avoid tripping over. If you've got a wooden patio, invest in non-slip inserts. These are really easy to insert between slats and give lots of extra grip.
Use fans and heaters to control temperature
Staying at a safe temperature is really important for the elderly. Keep a thermometer in the porch area, and use outdoor heaters and fans to adjust the temperature as needed. Position fans close to the door if using an enclosure so that they blow warm air out of the room and allow cool air to flow back in.
Provide plenty of seating
Comfortable seating is an absolute must for the elderly. Instead of traditional wooden garden furniture, like benches, try to choose outdoor armchairs and sofas with more ergonomic shapes. Add plenty of soft cushions to keep your relative comfy.
Make sure your patio is safe for elderly relatives, and they'll spend many happy hours out there.