Better Lighting for Seniors

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Posted on: 03 January 2019 by Emma Thomas

Healthier lighting for seniors reduces fall risk. Here are types of home lighting that are good for senior aging.

Lighting requires a lot of attention where there are seniors living. With age, many people suffer neurodegeneration of retina which makes their eyesight week. Less light falls on the back of the eye and most of it gets scattered. This is why seniors cannot clearly see objects as they get less vivid. For this reason, spaces used by seniors need to be well lit with lights they can access easily.
 
In the UK, more than 30% of people 65 or above fall at least once a year. This number is 50% for those over 80. A fall can be very detrimental in the case of seniors and lead to serious injuries. It has a direct impact on their health and raises the healthcare costs of seniors for the NHS.
 
There many different kinds of lighting options that are specifically designed for seniors. These lights are bright but still do not hurt their eyes. They are also easy to install and use as aged people may find it difficult to work with usual light switches. 
Wayfair is one home store that caters to the lighting needs of seniors. Here you can find many modern lights using energy efficient LED bulbs that can help seniors see better in their living space. To help you choose the right type of light for your loved ones, here are some suggestions:
 
Motion Sensing Lights
 
Wireless motion sensing lights are highly recommended for seniors. Many seniors, especially those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, may just forget to turn on the lights when they enter a room or walk in the hallways. The best way to fix this problem is to install lights that do not need turning on. 
Motion sensing lights are wireless, stick-on lights that use motion sensors in their view field to turn on automatically. Just as they move towards the light, it will automatically turn. These serve their purpose best as a nightlight. It can be installed next to the nightstand. They can also be installed in hallways and most importantly stairs. 
Since they are wireless, there is no hassle of wires. These lights can virtually be put in any corner as there is no need to be near an electrical outlet. 
 
Automatic Night Lights
 
Automatic LED Night Lights are great for seniors. These lights have dawn to dusk sensors. They light up as soon as it gets dark outside. They can be plugged in any outlets so are great for adding more lights to the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and hallways. The bulbs are LED so consumer way less electricity and are low maintenance. 
Generally, cooler lights are better suited for seniors. Aged eyes tend to have their lenses yellowed which makes cooler light less vivid to the eyes. That is why it is better to install LED lights that have a cooling color (like daytime) rather than yellow incandescent bulbs. 
 
Touch Lamps
 
Another problem with using regular lights and lamps for seniors is that they may have trouble accessing the buttons. Patients with arthritis will find it difficult to turn on regular lamp knobs or buttons. For them, touch lamps are better suited. 
In fact, you can turn any lamp or switch into a touch light with the addition of a touch switch. This would make it much easier for seniors to turn on the lights. They are more likely to use proper lighting if it is easy for them to turn on.  
 
Timer Night Lights
 
Many motion sensing lights and other lights have timer options. These lights turn on and off at the set time. Such lights can be pretty useful in spaces where seniors live. There is a higher chance of them forgetting to turn off the lights which in turn, can run up higher electricity bills. This is even more relevant for those who suffer from forgetfulness. 
 
Flashlights
 
To be even more careful, you would want to keep a torch near the bed of the seniors. In case of an emergency, they can use the light to find their way to safety. Also, if one cannot afford motion sensing lights these flashlights can help them find their way to the bathroom at night. The biggest advantage is that they can light up any corner they want. Even when there are lights; a flashlight can add more brightness to allow them to see clearly. 
 
Tips To Improve Lighting For Seniors
 
Aside from using easy-access bright lights, you may want to take extra measures to ensure fall prevention:
 
• Utilize daylight fully by letting as much sunlight in as possible
 
• Use lights with less contrast as seniors adapt to changing color or intensity of light slowly
 
• Do not use lights that may get heated
 
• Always use energy efficient bulbs to avoid paying large bills
 
• Check the batteries and bulbs every few weeks to ensure they are working properly
 
• Teach the elderly how to operate certain lights
 
• Use mounting strips to hang or attach wireless lights on the walls
 
Bottom Line
 
When you have a senior in your home, you should make the necessary changes to make the home safe for
them. According to NHS, falling is the most common cause of injury-related death in people over 75 in the UK. Improved lighting can prevent this by helping them see well. It would cost much more to treat the damage caused by a fall than to install some of the lights suggested above. 

 

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