Tunstall Connected Care Homes Assistive tech elderly woman


Inclusive home design is essential when considering the safety of loved ones, according to Vaila Morrison, Inclusive Home Design Expert at Stannah Stairlifts.

Loss of mobility and falls in elderly people remain key concerns for many people as the COVID-19 pandemic recedes, according to a recent survey.

Four in 10 people are concerned that their parents’ physical fitness and mobility had decreased during the COVID-19 lockdown and were worried about their parents falling alone and not being able to get up or get help.

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Vaila’s dream, she says, is to see inclusive design move away from being a niche concept, becoming instead a ‘mainstream’ must have, and to break the perception that accessible design is all ‘ugly plastic grab rails.’


By Vaila Morrison RIBA

Vaila Morrison, Stannah inclusive home design expert
Vaila Morrison

“Thinking about reduced mobility or ability as we age is something many of us shy away from, but we can all benefit from good inclusive home design in our own futures and when considering the safety of our loved ones.

“It’s vital that we that we plan for the needs of our older relatives and ensure their homes are accessible as they age, whilst remaining the stylish abode they love and cherish.

“Starting outside, think about the approach to your home.  Parking can be very important if you have mobility impairments and, even if you don’t drive yourself, access for easy pick up and drop off may be beneficial.

“If you are changing things in and around the staircase it would be good to consider how a stairlift could be integrated easily, or perhaps identify where a homelift may be able to go if you needed to install one in the future.

“I’d always recommend a good-sized downstairs shower room and upstairs family bathroom independent of the bedrooms, trying to make sure there is space enough for someone to be able to help you bathe if needed.

“These types of changes will make an immeasurably positive impact for your older relative in their homes, but why not also consider making your own home more inclusive for when they come to visit? I believe we should all have future proofing in mind when making alterations to our beloved homes.

“After all, we invest our hearts in our homes, so why wouldn’t we want to make sure they are as welcoming to our future selves, as well as all our friends and family as possible?

“When considering these alterations, they should result in an improvement and something to be proud of, exactly as renovations do! They should be an asset, that makes you feel liberated and that adds value (both financially and emotionally) to your quality of life.”

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