We all want our parents to be comfortable as they age. If they can stay in their home, and we can make it happen, we do the best we can, right? In order for them to live somewhat independently, we have to make some changes to their homes. Part of the changes we have to make is to the flooring; balance can be tricky as wee age, and comfort and safety become our top priority.
The ideal material for senior citizens should be soft, ensuring bones don’t break and bruise easily. At the same time, the floors should be easy to clean and easy to stay clean so as to not create a burden on them.
Carpeting is a great choice that fulfills most senior citizen needs. It’s soft, warm, and between padding and good carpeting, can provide as a form of insulation helping a room heat more efficiently. The only drawbacks to carpet, however, are that they can become cumbersome to clean, especially when food or drinks are spilled. Also, if the senior citizen has respiratory issues, carpet can pose an issue with indoor air quality.
Cork floors have grown in popularity in recent years among the young and the old. Cork is soft underfoot and under body, and just like carpet can help insulate a room against both heat loss and noise. Cork is also naturally non-slip, meaning people will be less likely to slip, trip, or fall.
Cork is relatively easy to clean and care for. Sweeping and vacuuming keep it looking it’s best, however, because cork is so soft, it can damage easily from furniture legs, high heels or sharp objects. Also, cork is prone to damage from water making it a poor choice for bathrooms or kitchens. Cork need to be sealed once a year to protect from stains and discoloration.
Vinyl flooring is one of the easiest flooring materials to lay and care for. It repels stains, water damage, and only requires basic maintenance and cleaning. If padded with a layer of felt or cork, the floor will yield a soft feel underfoot. There really aren’t any drawbacks to vinyl flooring, other than the feeling of cold beneath their feet. If your senior is prone to wearing socks or slippers, this should be a non-issue.
Another great choice is rubber flooring. Rubber floors are both very soft and naturally slip resistant, along with being fire resistant as well. When treated with water soluble wax, the rubber flooring becomes water and stain resistant, making it extremely easy to maintain. The only downside to rubber is it’s price. Rubber flooring is one of the more expensive flooring to install, so if your senior lives on a fixed budget (or if you are paying for the update, and need to stay within a budget), you may want to use it in small quantities. Also, rubber does have a very light odor which may put off some seniors.
If your parent is making a transition, and you want to do whatever is best for them, please contact us; our designers will help you make the best choice in flooring for both your budget, and your parent’s comfort.