New research from the Dementia Services Development Centre has explored how the healing qualities of lighting may benefit those with dementia.
Diagnosis of dementia has been rising for years now. 15% of all people over the age of 80 suffer with dementia.
Due to our aging population, we believe it is essential to prepare care environments with all the facts to ensure the future is bright for those with dementia.
Healing qualities of light
Our team of experts carefully considers light when considering any care home refurbishment. Their key thoughts are on well lit rooms and attractive fittings.
Well lit areas have been shown to reduce the likelihood of slips and trips. Lighting can also be perceived differently from one person to another. Namely between carers and residents. Incorrect lighting affects something called Circadian rhythm...
This is the natural physical and psychological cycle we all go through over a 24-hour period. Our existence is subconsciously dictated to in this way. However, external forces can also affect our circadian rhythm i.e., sunlight and temperature.
This cycle controls how our blood pressure changes throughout the day. In effect it tells us when to be awake and when to feel tired and ensure we get a good night’s sleep.
People who are affected with dementia have a disrupted circadian rhythm, which is to say they have a disrupted sleep. Disrupted sleep can make us tired and stressful. This is why we can often be a little cranky in the morning. Because our sleep has been disturbed.
Our choice of lighting, illumination and using the correct bulbs in specific areas of the care home can all benefit your residents with dementia.
Back to the research…
This showed that lighting that changed through the day helps dementia residents. If they were in an environment with intense light that gradually increased to 1000 lux over two hours this would reduce carers needing to get involved with residents, reduced stress, increased physical wellbeing and helped boost moods.
The research also showed that distressed behavior decreased by 49% if a circadian rhythm lighting system was installed.
This is because peoples perspective of light is different. As we get older our eye sight weakens. A standard lit rooms would appear very bright to a 30 year old but much darker to someone in their eighties. So lights need to be brighter.
Why not contact us if you need help with your care home interiors... here