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Key Design Tips for a Bedroom

The bedroom can cause or prevent injuries from occurring. A fall may occur in the morning when individuals are in their “off” state and may lose their balance while trying to get out of bed, completing transfers from the bed to chair, or trip while walking over a different surface to the bathroom (Bhidayasiri et al., 2018). Furthermore, the environment may become a challenge for various diagnoses, which can hinder independence in the environment unless home modifications are completed.

1. Entrance

The door type and door swing can impact an individual to enter and exit the room, especially if a mobility device is being used. The door's width should be at least 32 inches and open to a 90-degree angle for clearance (National Home Builders, 2017). If you are unable to widen the door width, consider having swing hinges to increase the doorway entrance's width. Rahmawati, Widyani, and Jiang (2020) stated that door handles should be a lever-style handle and placed at elbow height or no higher than 40.5 inches from the ground to allow for increased ability to enter the bedroom.

2. Type of Bed

The type of bed plays a significant role in the individual’s ability to sleep. A comfortable mattress should be purchased to allow for adequate sleep at night. There are different types of beds to meet your needs. An adjustable bed that will raise the head and the foot of the bed can be beneficial, especially if it is difficult to get up from a lying position into a seated position. A bed rail can also be helpful to provide assistance to get out of bed. Another consideration to make it easier to get out of the bed is installing a bed riser. This can be added to the base of the bed to increase the height. According to Bhidavasiri et al. (2018), the bed height should be adjusted between 17 inches and 19 inches for individuals who are older than 65 years of age. There are different types of sheets that can provide feasibility for turning throughout the night or decrease the difficulty with transfers. For example, a company known as Snoozle has a slide sheet to allow an individual to move without much effort.

Snoozle Slide Sheet Snoozle (2020)

3. Area

The area in the bedroom should be clear of clutter with adequate room to get out and into the bed. The location of the bed should be located close to the bathroom to allow for feasibility to get to the bathroom and back to the bed during the night (Bhidavasiri et al., 2018). When building or remodeling a bedroom, consider where the dresser will be placed to allow for space to open the drawers.

4. Storage Units

The wardrobe can be designed to be accessible. If you are considering remodeling your closet and want it to be a walk-in closet, consider having enough space for maneuverability for a walker or wheelchair. This will allow you to be able to turn around in the closet. An armchair within the closet can benefit individuals who want to complete dressing tasks while seated or require a rest break before finishing dressing tasks. Including clothing rods low to the ground can be beneficial when sitting in a chair and reaching for the clothes.

5. Adequate Lighting

Large windows in the room can provide light during the day and reduce the need to use electricity. Placement of light switches should be located upon entry to the bedroom. Consider having a light switch that is easily accessible and within reach while laying down in your bed. Motion-sensor lights are beneficial to consider. These lights will automatically turn on the moment your foot touches the floor to provide light for the path from your bedroom to the bathroom.

6. Smart Technology

The use of voice-controlled technology such as the Amazon Echo can increase accessibility. A smart outlet, which requires an Amazon Echo for voice-control demands, is becoming more common (Pradhan, Mehta, & Findlater, 2018). A lamp can be plugged into the smart outlet, and by voice command, you can turn on or turn off the light without having to reach and turn on a switch or lamp. This can be incredibly beneficial to reduce the risk of injury from occurring when reaching for a light at night or in the morning.

Smart Bulb Kit Smart Plug Amazon (2021) Amazon (2021)


Bhidayasiri, R., Jitkritsadakul, O., Sringean, J., Jantanapornchai, T., Kantachadvanich, N., Phumphid, S., Boonpang, K., Pensook, S., Aungkab, N., Hattori, N., Chaudhuri, K. R. (2018). Exploring bedroom usability and accessibility in Parkinson’s disease (PD): The utility of a PD home safety questionnaire and implications for adaptations. Frontiers in Neurology, 9(360).

National Association of Home Builders. (2017). Design concepts for livable homes and aging in place (CAPS II). Washington, D.C.: NAHB.

Pradhan, A., Mehta, K., & Findlater, L. (2018). Accessibility came by accident: Use of voice- controlled intelligent personal assistants by people with disabilities. (pp. 1-13) New York, NY: Association for Computing Machinery. doi: 10.1145/3173574.3174033

Rahmawati, N.. Widyanti, A., Jiang, B. C. (2020). Daily life, anthropometry and bedroom design of Indonesian elderly. Journal of Accessibility and Design for All, 10(1), 161-179.

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