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How Lighting Can Make Aging In A Place Safer For Seniors Read Below
Dated: January 21 2019
How Lighting Can Make Aging in Place Safer for Seniors
If you are a savvy senior or caregiver, you have likely taken steps to help you age in place around your home. Some of the most common upgrades include accessible ramps and grab bars in bathrooms. However, have you thought about how the lighting in your home can keep you safe? Proper lighting is crucial for aging in place, and here are the key facts you need to know.
Consistent Lighting Can Help Seniors Prevent Falls
As our bodies age, physical processes can become impaired. Your eyes tend to have a decreased capacity for dilating and adjusting to unexpected changes in lighting around your home. This is why to prevent dangerous falls, you need to keep your lighting fairly even throughout the rooms and spaces of your home. Properly lighting hallways and stairs is also critical to help reduce falls, but you also need to pay attention to other problem areas as well. Various lighting methods may be more beneficial for different rooms and activities, but keeping lighting comfortable and consistent is once again key to prevent injuries.
More effective bathroom lighting can be very helpful for fall prevention since this room tends to be a hotspot for senior falls. You can use natural lighting to brighten up this area, but you should also take steps to improve visibility around slippery surfaces. Added lighting around showers and tubs can be just the added boost seniors need to safely live longer in their own homes.
Proper Lighting Can Make It Easier to Age in Place
As noted above, visual abilities tend to wane with the passing of time. For millions of older adults, however, visual impairments and disabilities can be a challenging factor as well. Seniors often need triple the lighting in their living areas to keep them safe and make aging in place a more comfortable and realistic prospect. While bathrooms tend to be the primary focus of aging-in-place modifications, when it comes to senior lighting adjustments, proper accommodations need to be made for other living areas as well.
More importantly, seniors need easy access to sufficient lighting in the bedroom during the morning hours, as well as consistent levels of light in their living rooms throughout the day. Table lamps and other accessible lighting sources should be placed next to seating areas or spots where seniors like to relax and read. It’s also crucial to adjust screens in these areas so that glare is reduced. Another critical area to make lighting adjustments is in the kitchen. There are tons of kitchen lighting options that can keep seniors safe while preparing and cooking meals. Lights under cabinets and above islands can achieve this effect and add to the ambient lighting for seniors who want to spend more time in their kitchen areas.
New Technology Can Make Upgrades Easier
Improved LED bulbs can provide less harsh lighting for seniors in relaxation areas such as the bedroom, while also creating an inviting atmosphere in common areas such as dining rooms and living rooms. Just as with your living room, you can add three-way LED lamps to shed more light for other activities or to highlight decor in your rooms. To determine which bulbs are the best for each of your rooms, you can use an updated buying guide to walk you through the various factors to consider when it comes to purchasing new lighting for your home. This helps take some of the guesswork out of newer lighting technology for seniors and also makes you a more informed buyer overall. Finally, do not underestimate the benefits that smart home technology can provide for seniors who are looking to age in place.
There are tons of gadgets to provide security and convenience for older homeowners, but the most promising advance for lighting is the WeMo Light Switch and similar smart home features. These switches allow seniors to control lights from their smartphone, which means fewer chances for falls and accidents in a too-dark room.
Adequate lighting can help you age in place and stay safe inside your home. So, if you are a senior or caregiver, consider lighting when making accessibility upgrades at home.
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I am a full-time real estate agent at Century 21 Affiliated. I am licenced in both WI and MN, so I do business in La Crosse County and surrounding areas. I have been in the real estate business since....