There are nearly 50 million Americans over the age of 65 currently living in assisted living communities. This number is growing rapidly and is slated to double very soon. This, in turn, will result in an increased demand for better facilities for senior citizens residing within these facilities in the future. Retirement homes, nursing homes or hospices – almost all of these accommodations are faced with challenges to keep seniors mentally and physically healthy.
A surprising fact for many is that lighting plays a major role in keeping people healthy, especially in these facilities.
Seniors deserve the best quality of life in their twilight years, and they should be ensured a wholesome environment that suits their changing needs. Lighting is an especially important aspect when it comes to elders because as a person ages, their eyes age like any other organs of the body. The changes may be subtle, but sooner or later, as lesser light reaches the retina, changes in the type of lighting becomes all the more important.
Help For Aging Eyes To Avoid Falls and Other Injuries
Often, lighting systems are not built to match the real needs of elders. Aging eyes need 75 percent lighter than those of a 25-year-old because the lens of the eye becomes more transparent with age. If you are a senior, you will have at some point experienced an increased sensitivity to glare and find that your eyes are unable to adapt as quickly as they once did when the light levels change like when going from a dark room to a bright one. The visual system goes through physiological changes with age that can decrease visual acuity and color discrimination while enhancing sensitivity to glare. This can eventually lead to other conditions such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataract.
Apart from this, vision loss amongst seniors is a major cause of falls fractures and other injuries as well. The best way to help avoid these issues and provide an even level of lighting is to implement the use of LED lighting fixtures.
Health Advantages of LED
LEDs generally consume very low amounts of power and can operate even on very low voltage. In addition to energy savings, LEDs are the ideal choice for healthcare and senior living facilities. The health benefits are numerous. Vision loss and eye disorders can also be prevented with LED lighting. They only produce light in the visible range with no damaging UV or infrared radiation.
LEDs also have a high color rendering index or CRI which is an important aspect when lighting a senior home. As we age, the lens of the eye will gradually yellow with age, making it difficult to see differences in colors like blue, blue-green and violet. LEDs with high CRI, will be able to aid the visibility of actual colors of things as compared to other light sources.
Senior Care Facility Benefits of using LED
LEDs have a lifespan that lasts anywhere between 50,000 operating hours to 100,000 operating hours or more. They will never burn out unexpectedly like other standard light bulbs. Since they last so long, seniors or the personnel at the home will not have to undergo the hassle of constantly changing the bulbs.
Since LED bulbs are so small, they can be effectively used in numerous applications. In assisted living homes, sufficient task lighting is of utmost importance. Led lighting makes activities like reading, knitting and eating easier with focused, bright light. Be it reading a book or having dinner at the table, these versatile light bulbs can be positioned to provide maximum focus on the task at hand.
Installing LED bulbs under bed rails or along hallways can also be beneficial in order to illuminate the area, so as to reduce the risk of trips, falls and other accidents.
Using it in areas such as the kitchen and bathrooms can also help to minimize potentially dangerous situations.
Are Fluorescent Lights Being Used In Your Healthcare Facility Using?
Most of the assisted living facilities and other healthcare institutions use standard fluorescents lighting systems in their hallways and rooms. But unlike LED lights fluorescent lights have various drawbacks and poses potential health hazards. The light that fluorescent bulbs produce is sporadic so they might result in flickers which can cause drowsiness.
It also contains mercury, a dangerous pollutant. The color emitted by fluorescent lamps changes with time. Walking down a dimly lit hallway at a senior home is a safety concern because it affects depth perception. It is also one of the main reasons that residents often hesitates from venturing down a hall or leaving his/her room.
In conclusion, LED bulbs are a smart, energy efficient and environmentally friendly lighting option for all senior homes catering to long-term residents. With LEDs in your facility, elders will be assured of a great quality of life without the fear of vision-related issues.