Old age comes with reducing eyesight power. This is caused by the yellowing of the eye, decreasing pupil and cataracts that affect vision. Therefore, their environment needs to have extra lighting to minimize the risk of falling and straining the eyes. Inefficient lighting can cause mild headaches and more visual problems.
Tips on how to have better lighting for the elderly
Indoor Lighting Modification
Indoor lighting is important because it improves the ambiance of the house and minimizes the risks of falling. Indoor lighting helps the elderly to perform activities such as reading books, medicine instructions, and moving around. They will need to access the washroom and the bedroom several times a day, so the pathways need to have enough lighting.
More lighting is generally needed in the house. This can be increased by utilizing the availability of natural light. Drawing the opaque curtains to allow natural light in the house during the day is significant. Natural light is significant because the elderly stay at more than going out. Making the home as comfortable and safe as possible makes them happy.
The lightings need to be cooler lighting hence you will need cooler fluorescent or halogen bulbs. The yellow and red lightings are not convenient for the elderly because they can not distinguish colors and may affect their visibility. Cooler lighting is comfortable and they will be able to see things clearly without straining.
Less Contrast Lighting
Lights with high contrast will affect the adaptation of the eyes because the elderly have a slow adaptation ability. Effective lighting should have less contrast lighting to make their eyes comfortable and to see clearly where they are sited and when moving around the house. The outside is brighter than the inside, so the interior lighting should have less contrast for easy eye transition for the elderly.
More Task Lighting
Task lighting includes reading light and dining room lighting. The elderly need more lighting to read especially those who have a reading hobby. Reading is good because it exercises the intellectual mind and encourages one to think. When they are eating, they will need more light to be able to see clearly what is on the table and eat comfortably. Also, the kitchen needs to have enough lighting to allow them to prepare food comfortably or to reach something on the kitchen cabinets.
Task Lighting should be Adjustable
The seniors should have adjustable lighting to be able to maintain the contrast that is comfortable with their eyes. Sometimes they will new bright lighting sometimes they will need cooler lighting. Having adjustable lighting will increase eye comfort when they are reading, eating, or drawing. They will find it convenient to adjust the lighting basing on what they want to achieve.
Lighting that Mimics the Nature
Lighting that mimics nature improves their health and help them have good sleeping patterns. Having bright colors during the day and dimmer colors in the evening help the body to naturally adjust to good sleep patterns. Having bright colors all day and at night might interfere with sleeping patterns. Also, having dim colors all day may make one feel dull and sleep the better part of the day.
Light switches should be made easily accessible and safe for the elderly. They need to be able to switch on and off the lights; especially in the bedroom. The switch should be placed by the bedside for easy access. Having that switch by the side bed will help them to comfortably switch on or off the lights.
The switch should also have an adjusting button to dim and brighten the light whenever needed. This gives them the freedom to adjust lighting during the day to increase their comfort. It increases convenience and encourages them to be self-reliant and independent.
Modified lighting creates a safe and comfortable environment for the seniors and will enjoy carrying out their favorite activities at home. This includes reading, watching television, cooking, drawing, and eating. Lighting is an essential aspect in a home and most important for the elderly because the power of eyes reduce with old age.