0 Introduction

Internationally, a world congress dedicated to the study of aging was first conducted in 1982, and Germany has proposed a new concept of housing specifically designed for the elderly – care and maintenance housing since the 1990s.

Developed countries are more advanced in the study of aging, in the case of China, the study of aging issues started late and did not study the living environment of the elderly in depth, how to build a living environment for the elderly with Chinese characteristics is the urgent need for improvement at this stage in China.

From the perspective of the elderly, we should build a living environment with sustainable development, improve the corresponding supporting facilities and services, and then improve the happiness of the elderly and promote the healthy and harmonious development of the society.

1 Basic requirements for the design of the interior environment of residential buildings for the elderly

Before designing the indoor environment of residential buildings, the physiological and psychological characteristics of the elderly should be taken into consideration.

First of all, in terms of physiological function, the elderly have a very obvious decline. The physiological functions and tissues and organs of the whole body have degenerated, resulting in the reduction of the body’s reserve capacity, which cannot provide sufficient physical support in crisis situations.

Secondly, the adaptive capacity of the elderly is reduced. Due to the decline of physiological functions causing the dysregulation of the body’s internal environment, changing their living environment in a short period of time may cause them to become uncomfortable with the water.

Finally, the resistance and self-care ability of the elderly are reduced, which will affect their own health and bring inconvenience to their actions.

On the other hand, along with the decline of their physiological functions, their psychological changes have also occurred. Their social role changes from being “needed” to being “wanted”, which reduces their self-confidence and sense of security in life, and they begin to doubt their ability to control their lives.

According to the research, elderly people generally have the following psychological characteristics: survival, return, attachment, symbiosis and loneliness.

Therefore, when designing the indoor environment for the elderly, it is necessary to make reasonable planning with the physical and mental characteristics of the elderly. Specifically, special attention should be paid to the standards of the environment, noise control, emergency call devices, gas leak alarm, warning lighting and heating and cooling.

This can reduce the infringement and stimulation of bad factors to the elderly, and also can make some adjustment to the spirit of the elderly, improve their health, ensure their convenient and comfortable living environment, and enhance their confidence in life.

2 The design of the main indoor environment of residential buildings for the elderly

2.1 Design of entrances and exits

As the physical function of the elderly is greatly reduced, the action is slower, the physical strength is weaker and the vision is poor, so the design of entrances and exits should be made of non-slip, wear-resistant and sturdy materials to prevent personal accidents caused by ground changes such as cracks and unevenness in the ground during use. In the design of the entrance and exit size, it is necessary to leave enough area for wheelchair gyration.

In the design of entrance/exit direction, considering the physique of the elderly, the entrance/exit should take the sunny side to open the door to avoid the influence of cold monsoon. The entrances and exits should also have certain designs for the shape of canopies and other items to meet the recognition and sense of belonging of the elderly.

2.2 Design of hallway and walkway

In order to meet the basic needs of the elderly, the design of the passage hall should take into account the space design of the chairs, benches and cabinets prepared for changing shoes and clothes, in addition to the gyratory conditions of wheelchairs and stretchers.

The reaction power and physical reaction of the elderly have been reduced a lot, in general, for the external stimulation of the elderly are more reactive, weak perception, in the aisle, aisle, room can not set the threshold, the best ground does not have a height difference.

And in the aisles where the elderly often walk around, install siding and handrails to help the elderly pass safely. On both sides of the aisle, 40-50mm diameter round rod horizontal handrails can be set at a distance of 40mm from the wall, and the height of the handrails should be 0.90mm and 0.65mm; on both sides of the aisle, 0.35mm high siding is set at the lower part of the wall.

2.3 Design of living room

The orientation of the living room of the elderly directly affects their health. It is best to ensure sufficient sunshine and good orientation to the maximum, preferably facing the south, with the north direction second, and the east and west directions will be very hot in summer, which is not suitable for the long-term living of the elderly.

The living room for the elderly should also take into account natural ventilation, open view and natural lighting, which can help the physical and mental health of the elderly.

2.4 Design of bathroom

The bathroom is an accident-prone place for the elderly, so it is important to consider the design of all aspects of the bathroom, including the area, toilet, etc. The unreasonable bathroom facilities bring a lot of hidden dangers to the life of the elderly.

In many families in China, the toilet still uses the squatting toilet, which is very easy to cause cerebral hemorrhage in the elderly; smooth ground, with a high difference in the ground will increase the chances of accidents in the elderly, often leading to falls and fractures.

2.5 Noise control and sound insulation treatment

All smashing, beating, knocking, especially the sound of metal crashing will bring bad influence to the elderly, especially the weaker ones. Even if it is music, the volume should be reduced as much as possible.

2.6 Gas leak alarm device

Since modern kitchens are mainly designed for piped gas, they generally have gas leak alarm devices. However, the memory of the elderly is not good and their hands and feet are becoming more and more uncoordinated, so they often forget whether the piped gas valve is open or not, so that the gas leaks and eventually leads to a big disaster.

Therefore, it is necessary to install special control valves for the elderly to prevent dangerous accidents due to gas leaks and in caused by gas leaks.

2.7 Telephone and emergency call button

The elderly network in the community is an unobstructed service system based on community services as the core of work, community nurseries, community health and wellness centers, home care service centers, community homes for the elderly, families with elderly people in the community as the target of service, and voluntary workers in the community as a supplement.

In the event of an emergency, the community will send the appropriate personnel to the home as soon as they receive a call. As the elderly are physically weak, they may have cardiovascular disease at any time when moving, eating, watching TV, getting up, bathing, sleeping and standing up, so they are in urgent need of assistance from others, so there are call buttons in the indoor and convenient places such as bathrooms where the elderly live, so that others can provide timely assistance.

3 The design of indoor landscape for the elderly

In addition to the above hardware facilities, the elderly also have special requirements for lighting. Their requirements for illumination are 2-3 times higher than those of young people, so local lighting should be set up in the interior, bathroom vanity mirror, kitchen console and sink to meet the needs of the elderly for lighting.

Placing plants with the scent of life indoors can beautify the indoor environment on the one hand, and delight the mood of the elderly on the other, helping them to build a positive and confident attitude towards life.

In the living room, you can use some plants that symbolize wealth and good fortune, such as seven-leafed lotus, palm bamboo, dragon’s blood tree, rich bamboo, scattered anemone luluo, etc.

In the bedroom can be placed some plants that help sleep, hanging orchids, aloe vera, cactus, cactus, calla lilies, tulips, etc. They also have a gentle, tranquil, serene role.

In the study, you can place plants such as Fulvous Bamboo, Manzanita, and Mountain Pig flower in the most sunny position. On the one hand, these plants are conducive to learning and improve one’s thinking ability; on the other hand, “bamboo” also has the symbolism of high. In addition, you can also put on the desk with the prevention of insomnia, the role of calamus to calm the mind.

Dining room can put some yellow-based plants, such as yellow roses, yellow carnations, etc., to increase the appetite of the elderly and promote health.

4 Conclusion

The current situation of aging in China determines the importance of solving the living problems of the elderly. When designing the living environment for the elderly, we cannot just consider the auxiliary facilities and size issues above alone, but also take care of the psychological needs of the elderly.

Housing for the elderly is not a luxury shelter with perfect equipment and barrier-free, so we need to inject more humanized design into the design of housing for the elderly.

Everyone will grow old, so it is our duty and responsibility to care for the elderly, improve their residential environment, and provide them with a better retirement environment.