How to Furnish an Assisted Living Apartment

12Oaks-Son helping his old father to move to another apartment wrapping sofa with plastic-as-How to Furnish an Assisted Living Apartment-Feature

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A comfortable and harmonious living space contributes to happy and healthy aging. Moving from a home to a senior living community is a significant change for most seniors. It raises many questions about the new living space, such as how to decorate and what belongings to declutter. This relocation can leave seniors and their caregivers in a difficult situation, not knowing where to begin or what steps to take.

If your parents are moving to an assisted living apartment, we can help make their new space feel like home. We understand the challenges of caring for aging parents, and our goal is to provide comprehensive care that enables them to thrive for years to come.

Here are some essential things to consider when furnishing your parents’ assisted living apartment.


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Plan Ahead of Time

12Oaks-Sofa Size Measure Ruler-as-1 Plan Ahead of Time

Moving from a spacious house to a smaller apartment requires careful planning. It’s best to start the process early, ideally weeks or months before the move, to allow time for decorating, searching for furnishing ideas, and making any necessary changes.

Start by obtaining the measurements and floor plan of the apartment. This information will help you visualize how much space your parents will have and determine what furniture and features will fit properly. While your parents may prefer to keep their existing furniture, it’s crucial to organize it to prevent crowding.

Consider involving family members and friends in planning to make settling into the new home less stressful. They can provide helpful insights and suggestions to make the transition smoother.


Downsize Is the Way to Go

12Oaks-Donating Decluttering And Cleaning Up Wardrobe-as-2 Downsize Is the Way to Go

Downsizing to an apartment requires deliberate decision-making about what to keep and let go. While sentimental items can ease the transition, keeping bulky or hazardous items such as upholstered armchairs or vintage cupboards can be impractical.

To simplify the downsizing process, help your parents create a list of furniture and decide what to keep, toss, donate, sell, or store. Consider gifting items to friends and family, giving your parents the satisfaction of passing on their belongings rather than discarding them.

While it may be challenging to part with cherished possessions, downsizing is necessary when moving to a smaller space. By carefully considering their options, your parents can create a comfortable and safe living environment in their new apartment.


Prioritize Practicality and Multifunction

12Oaks-A top view of man with his senior father assembling furniture-as-3 Prioritize Practicality and Multifunction

When setting up a new living space for your parents, focus on practical and convenient items rather than decorative pieces that occupy valuable space. Multi-purpose furniture can be a great solution, but it may not always fit the apartment or be affordable.

Instead, research single-function items that can serve multiple purposes. For example, consider swapping a whole living room set with loveseats, using ottomans for seating and storage, or using a small coffee table as a nightstand. By getting creative with your choices, you can create a functional living space that enables your parents to live more comfortably and with greater mobility.


Color Matters

12Oaks-Middle age caucasian woman covering mouth with color paint test at new home-as-4 Color Matters

According to psychology, color can strongly impact a person’s emotions, moods, and behaviors. Painting the walls with the right color can significantly benefit your parents’ overall quality of life and aging process.

When designing a personalized living space for your parents, it’s essential to keep in mind that color preferences are subjective. Ask your parents about their favorite colors to help create a comfortable and personalized space for them.

When choosing paint colors, it’s best to consult an expert to discuss the options thoroughly. Neutral shades with a light reflectance value (LRV) between 40-60 are ideal. They can brighten up the space while providing a healing and cozy effect. Popular paint colors for senior living environments include blue, green, white, cream, beige, and yellow. These colors can foster feelings of relaxation, comfort, and calmness.

Consider adding bold colors and textured accent walls to the space for an extra touch of vibrancy. A pop of color can transform a dull apartment into a more lively and inviting home for your parents.


Leverage the Lighting System

12Oaks-Focused elderly man. Bright lamps-as-5 Leverage the Lighting System

Another feature important for improving the safety of your parents is lighting. Good lighting helps your parents navigate and take complete control of their surroundings and avoid fatal accidents, particularly if they have vision problems.

Consider placing extra lamps or lighting in and around areas where they often struggle to see or watch their steps, such as the bathroom and the kitchen.


Be Mindful of Dangerous Hazards

12Oaks-Steps of dark wooden staircase with anti-slip mat-as-6 Be Mindful of Dangerous Hazards

Be mindful of messy cords hanging out here and there that may cause your parents to trip. Even if they can still roam free without walking aids, it is essential to follow this basic safety protocol by clearing all potential tripping hazards and obstacles inside their units.

This measure will help your parents live comfortably and safely as much as possible in the coming years. Here are some things you can do to make their assisted living apartment even safer:

  • Replace loose rugs with anti-slip mats or secure them with tape.
  • Install grab bars along the walls and in the bathroom.
  • Place colored non-slip strips on the stairs.
  • Remove area rugs and glass tables.
  • Keep the cords in place with mounting strips.
  • Use a basket to store all electric wires and cable chargers.


Take the Bathroom to the Next Level

12Oaks-Handicapped disabled access bathroom bathtub-as-7 Take the Bathroom to the Next Level

According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 235,000 people visit the ER or require medical help due to injuries that take place right in their bathroom every year.

When furnishing your parents’ apartment, focus on renovating the bathroom to reduce their risk of potential hazards while performing day-to-day grooming activities. Below are some helpful remodeling tips to make the bathroom safer:

  • Convert the bathtub into an open, walk-in shower.
  • Add slip-proof decals to the shower area.
  • Replace the old, slippery floor with anti-slip tiles.
  • Install handrails along the walls, near the toilet, and in the walk-in shower.
  • Secure the mats with tape or purchase ones with anti-sliding backs.
  • Prepare a hamper to catch dirty laundry.
  • Keep the floor free of unnecessary items and objects.
  • Swap the regular toilet seat with a high-level one.
  • Change water faucets with lever handles.
  • Improve the lighting system.
  • Install a phone line or alert system in the bathroom.


If you have questions about how to furnish an assisted living apartment, furniture for assisted living, or any topics discussed here, connect with us and learn more. 

At 12 Oaks, our team of caring professionals is dedicated to keeping residents safe, engaged, and connected to their families and friends while leading fulfilling lives. 12 Oaks senior living communities are an ideal place to enjoy the encore season of life.

For questions or to schedule a personalized tour, don’t hesitate to contact us. 


Searching for senior living help? At 12 Oaks Senior Living, we would love to learn more about your unique needs and the opportunity we may have to help you meet them. Our blog is one of the valuable resources we provide to inform and encourage seniors to lead fulfilling and thriving lives. Contact us today to schedule a visit.

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