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Words to Designers of Senior Citizen Homes

September 14, 1986

I live in a building supposedly designed and built for senior citizens and handicapped. If I knew who made the plans for it, I would like to tell him a few things about living here.

The doors are all hard to open and so heavy that the people in wheelchairs and those using walkers or canes have trouble with them.

In my apartment the cupboards are so arranged that to make full use of them, one must climb a ladder or use a step stool or get on one's knees.

One tall cupboard has a narrow, tall space suitable for broom and mop, etc. Beside that is a set of shelves 24-inches front to back. What they were planned for I don't know. I place cleaning supplies, shoe polish, etc. in front, and the deeper space is wasted--almost impossible to reach.

The windows are so large and heavy that many of us find them almost impossible to clean. The screens fit so tight that they must be forced to get them out.

Seniors often cannot afford to hire cleaners.

I wish that when architects and planners start the next buildings for seniors that they will invite a group of seniors to be advisers, so the buildings will be appropriate and comfortable.

G. WHORTENBURY

Santa Monica

PS: I forgot to say that there is a not a single handle or pull on any drawer or closet in the place.

PPS: The only place to put a bar of soap in the bathtub is on the end away from the faucet and shower head!

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