The lighting in our homes is something many of us take for granted. But as we get older, it becomes an increasingly important consideration. Proper lighting contributes to overall safety, quality of life, and accessibility for seniors. It can help them lead the independent, yet safe, lifestyle that everyone wants. Find out how lighting in a home can affect an elderly person’s life below, and read through some important factors and products to consider when lighting a home for an elderly person.
Why is Lighting So Important for Seniors?
The top reason to think about lighting for seniors is safety. This comes in a few different forms. Inside the house, adequate lighting can prevent dangerous falls and reduce the chance of slipping or injury. It also helps seniors perform important tasks like taking the proper doses of their medication. Outside the house, security lights can keep their homes safe from intruders, and proper lighting on their doorstep and driveway can also prevent dangerous falls.
Obviously, proper lighting also contributes to better eyesight, which will lead to more productive, safe daily lives. Eyesight often declines over time, so seniors need special lighting conditions to accommodate changes in eyesight, eye disorders, and more. Some common eyesight problems in elderly adults include cataracts, glaucoma, floaters, and hardening or yellowing of the lens. Due to these issues, seniors often need more lighting in their homes than they used to.
Lighting Tips for Seniors
Now that we know why lighting is an important consideration, here are a few tips for making the most of the lighting situation in an elderly person’s home.
Seniors should have as much control over their lighting situations as possible. This means that light switches should be placed all around the home in easily accessible locations. Lamps and other smaller lights should also suit their needs, and should not be too complicated to operate. In terms of safety and lifestyle, accessibility is an imperative factor.
The lighting in the senior’s home should also be fully adjustable, along the lines of them having control over their lighting conditions. Tools like dimmers and timers give seniors the freedom to make their lighting work for their lifestyle. Elderly eyes tend to be more sensitive to light level, intensity, and brightness, so giving them control over this factor will be a big help.
The color tone of the lighting is also important for seniors to consider. A common problem for elderly people is yellowing lenses, which can warp their ability to distinguish color, especially on the cooler end of the spectrum (blues, purples, etc.). Therefore, using cooler lighting installments like halogen or fluorescent light bulbs can help them see and distinguish all colors.
Best Lighting for Elderly Homes
Generally, the more lighting the better. Overhead lights with accessible, adjustable switches coupled with smaller area lighting is the best combination. Ample lighting around typically dangerous areas like staircases or narrow hallways is necessary as well. Try to make the lighting situation as uniform and ambient as possible too, as older eyes have a harder time adjusting to changing contrast levels.
Make sure to consider the lifestyle of the senior as well, though.
- They may need more lighting in the bathroom where they take their medication, for instance.
- If they do their bills at the dining room table, an extra overhead light there may be useful.
- If they read in bed at night, a nightlight or reading light within a safe reachable distance will allow them to do so without having to get up, turn off the overhead light, and potentially fall in the dark trying to get back to bed.
- Do they do a lot of cooking? They may also need a reading light in the kitchen for their recipe books.
Recommended Lighting Solutions
Here are some of the most useful lighting solutions for a senior home beyond the typical overhead or lamp setup. See if one of these would work for your lifestyle!
Best Night Light for Seniors
NEW VERSION AMIR Motion Sensor Lights
$11.99 in stock
2 used from $ 7.99
This night light is perfect because it easily sticks to any wall or surface, and has those cool-toned LED bulbs that are great for senior eyes. To make them even better, they have motion sense technology, turning on within a 10 foot radius and turning off after 15 seconds of inactivity. This saves power and energy, but will still keep you safe at night. They come in a set of 3, so you can place them in your most common nighttime stroll areas (i.e. the bedroom, hallway, and bathroom, most likely).
Toilet Night Light by Ailun,Motion Activated LED Light
Along those lines, as silly as it might seem, a night light for your toilet is actually a really great safety tool. It can prevent embarrassing falls or imbalance, and also illuminate the rest of the bathroom a bit so you can see what you’re doing. It also has motion sensing technology, as well as a fully adjustable body that can fit any toilet.
Best Reading Light for Seniors
LED Reading Light, TopElek Rechargeable Book Light
This is a pretty standard reading light in terms of construction, but it has a lot of versatility and customizable features, which is why I like it. It has a very large, flexible, easy to use clip that’s great for even arthritic hands. You can clip it onto your book, or a table as well. It also has 3 color temperature settings, so that they can choose which setting (four standard LED bulbs, two cool white LED bulbs, or two warm white LED bulbs) works for their unique reading needs.
AUKEY Table Lamp, Touch Sensor Bedside Lamps
$26.99 in stock
3 used from $ 25.10
It’s important that seniors have a well-lit path before their fet ever hit the ground. This bedside lamp can be turned on quickly by a simple tap on the metal base. This is extremely helpful for emergencies or when a senior has to get up in the middle of the night.
It also has 3 settings: a low setting that can act like a night light, a moderate option for evening use, and a brighter setting for reading or walking at night.
If power outages are frequent in your area, it also comes in a version with a rechargable battery so that it can work at all times.
Automatic Security Lights for Seniors
Mpow Solar Lights Outdoor Motion Activated Lights
These solar powered, waterproof, wireless outdoor motion sensor security lights are perfect for seniors concerned about the outdoor lighting conditions and safety of their home.
Each light (two comes in a pack) comes equipped with 8 powerful LED bulbs that can completely illuminate any area. They also have 3 light settings as well, including strong light mode for instant illumination all night long, dim light for a dim illumination all night with strong light switched on when it senses motion, and just a sensor light that stays dark, and gets very bright at the sense of motion. Whatever will make the senior feel most comfortable in their home.
Lighting solutions like the ones outlined above can help seniors live comfortable, safe, independent lives. With the right setup, they can perform all of their daily tasks without worrying about their eyesight limiting them. Think about what would work best for their unique lifestyle, and implement some of the solutions I mentioned above. If you found it helpful, share this article with friends and family on social media and leave any questions or comments below!