A 10-point guide to buying senior-friendly apartments

An apartment truly becomes a home when it feels comfortable for every member of the family. Joint families are still common in our country and the requirements of the elderly need to be taken into account while looking for apartments in Chennai. While some aspects are subjective to interior design choices, many of these are typically provided by good builders

If you are looking for a home that is senior-friendly, sit down with your family and discuss these ten points:

1. Boutique home vs. high-rise gated community

An image of Appaswamy’s Arcus and Altezza in Chennai

(Left) Arcus - T. Nagar, Chennai | (Right) Altezza - Kottivakkam, Chennai

While high rise apartments and boutique homes each have their own unique appeal, the important debate here is whether the environment and amenities on offer are right for you and your family. For instance, although high rises come with marginally higher maintenance costs, seniors could feel energised by the bustling community and surroundings.

Boutique apartments on the other hand, house smaller, like-minded communities which can appeal to seniors, as well. Those who prefer this can consider our boutique properties like Arcus in Chennai, and Urbanest and The Alton in Coimbatore, which offer the perfect set of amenities that are typically used the most by seniors.

2. Floor considerations and property features

The floor you choose to buy an apartment in is very important. Some senior citizens may suffer from vertigo, so the upper floors in the high-rises may not work. On the other hand, some may prefer higher floors citing better air quality and views of the surroundings.

Morning walks and catching up with neighbours are a part of most elders’ daily routine. A power outage could seriously disrupt this, if the person is not able to make it back up to their apartment using the lift or is unable to walk safely in the dark.

Our premium apartments in Chennai offer 100% power backup for common areas, lifts and pumps, along with backup for all apartments, to make for a worry free environment during power outages.

3. Flooring

Glossy floors are extremely high-risk for the elderly. The best builders typically install either anti-skid or anti-slip tiles in bathrooms to minimise accidents. While anti-skid mats can help, they don’t cover the entire expanse of the room. At Appaswamy properties, anti-skid tiles in bathrooms are commonplace.

4. Number of bedrooms

This might seem like a trivial consideration at first but it becomes extremely important for elderly folk living by themselves. For joint families with seniors, 3 or 4 BHKs are the way to go. But, if seniors are living by themselves, then 2 BHKs are the better option. They are also much easier to maintain and clean, and require less effort to move within the space.

5. Security

An image of CCTV cameras and video doorbells in senior-friendly apartments

Videophones and CCTV cameras installed at Azure The Oceanic

CCTVs have become standard these days, but leave much to be desired. Access controlled doors, video doorbells and intercoms deliver a worry-free and relaxing environment for retirees and elder-folk alike. Having the ability to view or talk to a visitor before letting them in definitely adds to a senior’s peace of mind. These security features and more can be found in most of our properties such as Azure, Altezza, Arcus, etc. 

6. Builder reputation

While this may seem like it's relevant under any circumstance, it is especially relevant for homes where elders can find themselves alone for extended periods of time. Opting for an apartment made by builders who use premium materials for construction and finishes can help save on maintenance costs and reduce the hassle involved with getting things repaired on a frequent basis.

7. Visual relief

The vertical gardens at Altezza in Chennai are showcased here

Vertical gardens at Altezza - Kottivakkam, Chennai

As people age, visual stimuli play an increasingly important role in overall wellness. Strongly consider the percentage of the apartment complex dedicated for open spaces and greenery, when making your decision. The Open Space Reserve at Clover By The River in Kotturpuram was designed with this in mind. Additionally, you can pick a property that comes with open space areas featuring parks, walking tracks, and other recreational facilities.

Interior design choices also play an important role in visual relief for seniors who have failing vision or vision impairments. From painting door jambs in contrasting colours to using bright but differently colored tiles and bath mats in bathrooms, seniors can independently and safely use spaces.

8. Bathrooms

We touched on anti-skid flooring earlier but the interior design choices you make after you’ve purchased an apartment can add or detract from comfort levels. A soapy floor can still pose a lot of risk despite the usage of anti-skid tiles. Installing grab bars and safety rails can really help in this case. Benches are another option that enable them to take showers whilst being seated.

9. Furniture

A picture of a very spacious living room in Appaswamy’s Altezza

Render of living room in Altezza - Kottivakkam, Chennai

Opt for ergonomic and orthopaedic seating (and no, they aren’t one in the same!) when designing your interiors. Go for chairs with backrests and armrests or even a sturdy rocking chair since there’s no age limit on fun!

The seating layout also plays an important role. An L-shaped sofa and sectionals, for instance, can be less of a hindrance and provide more space for people to walk.

While picking out your modular furniture, ensure the design you choose has soft edges. Soft close hinges on the shelves and cabinets not only improve ease of use, but prevent accidents because of doors or drawers snapping shut. Kitchen cabinets shouldn’t be placed too high or too low for homes with seniors, unless other family members are always around. Height adjusted cabinets and counters are another must-have to make your home that much more comfortable.

10. Motion sensor lighting

With respect to common areas in a property, motion sensor lighting is a great plus! They can also be a godsend when used inside the home. If the older person’s mobility is severely restricted then having motion sensors or smart lighting for different times of the day (especially during the night) can improve ease of movement significantly.

There you have it! Hope you found this article useful. Below is a downloadable checklist for your ease!

28 Oct 2022


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