According to the National Center for Assisted Living, about 1 million residents, age 65 and older, live in assisted-living communities across the country. This number is expected to double by 2060.
Lighting design for these facilities typically emphasizes uniformity in distribution and minimization of flicker and other lighting malfunctions that can be problematic for seniors living with eye deterioration or other vision impairments. There are other things to consider also, however, that we will cover in the following sections.
Lifelike Lighting Integration
It’s often believed that, in facilities such as senior homes, bright overhead lighting should be present in dining areas with dimmer lighting in commons or living areas. This can create a problem for some seniors, however, who have a harder time adapting to light variation.
Moving from an over-bright area to a suddenly dim area can be very overwhelming and sometimes even disorienting.
Also, whenever possible, natural light should be used. Exposure to natural light decreases the risk of depression and can actually help residents feel healthier and more awake throughout the day.
Considerations for Dementia
All forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, can have negative effects on depth perception, peripheral vision, contrasting, and heightened sensitivity to glare and shadows. These are all problematic as they create risk for falls and reduced stability in posturing.
Circadian-friendly lighting can help. This includes lighting that is adjusted throughout the day to simulate the natural light of the outdoors, with the brightest light being around the noon hour. This routine of lighting not only helps dementia patients feel more connected to where they are, but also ensures that activities can be scheduled around the best lighting “peaks” of the day without keeping the light at an overbearing brightness all day long for other residents who might not suffer from any form of dementia at all.
Does Your Senior Living Facility Need an Update?
Here at Persona, we recognize that all seniors deserve the best quality of life that we can give them. We can help you ensure a physical environment that supports their needs and also provides the comfort of home without a sterile hospital feel. Give us a call and let one of our experts help you update your facility with the best lighting technology on the market.