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Adequate and consistent lighting is important to keep aging adults safe. The sharpness of vision can deteriorate as we get older. Therefore, it is essential to invest in high-quality and intentional lighting. Taking these lighting safety measures will reduce fall risks and enhance in-home experiences for loved ones in the home.
Stay Safe at Home with These Lighting Tips!
1. Utilize "Smart" Lighting
If older adults have impaired mobility, it can be a challenge for them to get up to turn the lights on and off. Smart lighting is a wonderful solution to this problem, especially for those with limited mobility or visual impairments.
Smart lighting is easy to set up, and seniors can control the lighting from their smartphones. They can easily turn the lights on or off without getting up from their seat. If you connect it to a smart hub, such as Google Home or Amazon Alexa, you can use voice commands as well! Anyone in the home can give lighting commands right from the comfort of their favorite chair or bed.
2. Prioritize High-Traffic and High-Risk Areas
All hallways, staircases, kitchens, and bathrooms should have sufficient lighting. This often means it is necessary to install additional overhead lights in these areas. These places can be common sources of fall-related injuries for older adults. They need to see these areas properly so they don't accidentally bump into any objects or trip over obstacles.
Make sure these areas are well-lit and any hazards are highly visible. Feel free to test the lighting after updating it!. Just beware, if you are updating the lighting for an aging loved one, he/she might see the areas differently than you do. Be sure to ask for their honest feedback on their ability to see and navigate these areas.
Note: High-risk areas are not limited to hallways, staircases, bathrooms, and kitchens. If there are other places in the home that an older adult uses frequently, you should consider adding additional lighting there as well. This applies to areas of the house, for example, where floor surfaces change and carpet meets a hardwood floor and presents a tripping hazard.
3. Use Nightlights
Older adults may need to get up at night and visit the bathroom or kitchen. This is where it is important to consider installing nightlights. Nightlights are manufactured to provide soft and helpful lighting so one can safely roam around the house without tripping at any hour of the night.
The best part is that nightlights are easy to install, and you will not require additional wiring. They can be used in many areas, such as:
- Walk-in closets
Any other area of your home that is frequently used at night can be installed with nightlights. A nightlight's versatility is endless as it can be installed anywhere. If you prefer for the nightlights not to run all night, you can find models with motion sensors. Such technology will activate the lights automatically as soon as someone is near. It will also turn the lights off once the person has passed after a period of time. It will save your electricity and will not disrupt others at night.
4. Utilize Dimmer Light Switches
Did you know that seniors are more sensitive to bright lights? Yes, that is right. Therefore, the goal should never be to simply install as many lights in the house as you possibly can.
One solution is to install dimmer lights that allow you to adjust the intensity of the lighting to suit the needs of your loved one. Being able to control the lighting intensity will allow seniors to have adequate lighting for every situation and time. In the long run, it will decrease eye strain. It will also improve sleep if you install them in the bedroom as it will allow seniors to have dim lighting before sleeping.
5. Minimize Glare
Harsh lighting and sunlight become increasingly uncomfortable with age. Many older adults suffer from eye problems, which can enhance light sensitivity and the effects of glare. In the long run, glare can impair vision and be a distracting force for seniors.
Glare can also be dangerous as it can hide objects that may cause falls or tripping. If glare is coming from a direct light source such as the sun, it can be reduced with blinds and curtains.
If there is reflective glare in your home, you can reduce it by utilizing a matte finish on floors, ceilings, and walls. During the day, you should also ensure that shiny objects and glass are covered to minimize glare.
6. Remember to Replace Bulbs And Batteries
Besides installing the right lighting solutions, you also need to maintain them. That is why after every few months, you should replace bulbs and batteries around the home. You need to ensure that everything is working optimally to enhance safety.
If you think you will forget, keep a reminder on your calendar or smartphone. It will alert you when everything needs to be replaced so things can function smoothly in the home. Such maintenance is essential to ensure that seniors are safe at all times inside the house.
The cost of taking these precautions is nothing compared to the cost of your loved ones tripping or falling. Implement these tips and maintain them from time to time to ensure a hassle-free experience.
Want more tips to improve safety around the house? Click here to learn about modern technologies designed to keep your loved ones safe.
Let us know in the comments below - What is your best safe lighting tip?