practice. Light source» should always he shielded. Ceiling-mounted fixtures ore not recommended because of the dangers inherent in cleaning the fixtures and changing bulbs. As indicated earlier, it is highly desirable to plan lighting layouts so that lights dan always be switched on from a doorway. Wall switches should control all light fixtures. Switched outlets are particularly important in bedrooms or sleeping alcoves so that the elderly person need not stumble around in the dark when looking for the switch or after turning olf the light.
Place a convenience outlet for use of a night-light between bed and» bath. A night-tight in a central location is often useful, as are luminous switch plates. Convenience outlets should never be located less than IB in. above the floor (30 to 40 in, above the floor is preferable)
Have the entrance well lighted so that steps (if any) can be clearly seen and keyholes can toe located.
The aged generally require a higher temperature level than the standard approximately 80°F, The heating system should be quick-acting and arranged to provide a uniform distribution of heat. If the aged are to be housed in structures with younger occupants, consideration should be given to the provision of separate temperature controls or supplementary heat sources. If steam or hot water systems are used, exposed radiators and risers should be avoided Exposed radiators under operable windows ore particularly hazardous. Although cold floors are to be avoided, radiant panel floors seem to be undesirable because they aggravate conditions of impaired blood circulation in the legs.
While a certain degree of acoustical privacy is necessary in any building, it is perhaps more important in housing for the aged than in other residential work. There is a strong desire on the part of the aged to protect their privacy and to toe assured of quiet during their rest periods and in the event of illness. Elderly occupants tend to be especially sensitive to the noise of children.
In any building devoted exclusively to housing the aged, an automatic fire alarm system should be provided Because of the difficulties many elderly persons experience in bedrooms and bathrooms, particularly at night, it is desirable to provide some form of signaling device whereby they can summon help. Usually the device sounds in a neighboring apartment or in a resident manager's or superintendent's suite. In buildings or projects devoted exclusively to the aged, it may also be desirable to provide a conveniently located public telephone booth, since many aged cannot afford a private telephone. When installed in the dwelling, however, locate a telephone conveniently near the tied. Several outlets would be mosl helpful.
Whenever possible, accommodations for the aged should be on one level and, unless elevators are used, located on the ground floor. In the case of low buildings where elevators are uneconomical, the aged should not toe expected to climb more than one flight. For small unavoidable changes in level, ramps with flat slope not over 5 percent are preferable to stairs Where stairs must toe used, the following precautions should be observed:
1 Risers should not be more than 7 in. high,
2, The proper proportion of run to rise should bo scrupulously observed,
3, Fewer than two risers shouldbeavoided-
4, Winders or curved treads should never be used.
5, Nonstip nosings should toe used and should be of a contrasting color.
6. Continuous handrails should be provided on both sides of the stairs.
7. Handrails should be of the proper height, of a cross section which is easily grasped, and sturdy in appearance as well as in fact,
8. Stairs should not be less than 3 ft 3 in, in clear width,
9. No doors should open directly onto the stairs-
10. Traffic should not cross the top or bottom of the stairs.
11. The stairs should be well lighted with shielded sources.
Some special considerations should also be observed with respect to olevntors:
1, Self-operated elevators should be equipped with automatic doors,
2. A signaling device should toe provided to summon assistance.
3 Continuous handrails should be provided, and if the car is sufficiently large, a small bench should toe considered
4 An automatic leveling device is necessary and should be inspected frequently.
5- If there is a possibility of use by a disabled person in a wheelchair, the control panel should be mounted low enough enough to be reached from a sitting position.
The entry/exit tor front door) is the critical transfer point from the least public area of the develop-men* to the least private area of the dwelling unit, if properly designed, it wilt insure the privacy of unit activities and contribute strongly to tfie sense of home. It must be a place, not just a door in a wall which opens directly into the living area or other such spoce. (See Figs. 1 and 2.)
Accessibility The entry/exit orea should be directly accessible to the following less private areas of the unit:
« Food preparation
• Living area, with spatial differentiation between the two functions
The entry/exit area should be indirectly accessible (minor intermediate activity or o circulation path) to more private areas of the unit:
• Private outdoor (optional)
• Personal hygiene
The entry/exit area should have both visual and audio contact with visitors outside of the entry door; but visitors should not have visual contact and only controlled audio contact into the entry area of the dwelling unit. This maximizes the ability of the resident to keep out unwanted visitors ond allows the resident to control the space just outside the unit.
All of the previously mentioned spaces with direct physical access to the entry/exit area should have visual/audio contact with this oreo for control and security within the unit. Other areas should hove audio but not visual contact to minimize disruption of privacy.
Orientation The orientation of this activity toward view and sunlight is governed by more essential concerns related to building type and the functional organization of other activities.
Furnithobility The furnishings and equipment necessary for this area are:
Storoge for outer wear, that is, coats, galoshes, umbrellas, etc.; a closet at least 3 -0" by 2 -2" should be provided
Spatial Characteristics The space should have sufficient wall orea to accommodate a mirror; there should also be a dear dimension area of at least to 4'-0" square for putting on coats as well as greeting guests.
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