Light and Dementia

When someone in your family has been diagnosed with dementia and you become their caregiver, changes in your lifestyle are sure to come.  One of those changes is accommodating the physical space and surroundings to the needs of your loved one and his condition. Within physical space falls the category of light.  Lighting, and how proper it is, has a tremendous impact on both the patient and the caregiver.

Independence is something we need to enhance in our loved one with dementia. Giving them a sense of independence for as long as possible will ease the frustrations that come with the condition. However, if we want someone to be independent, they have to be able to see and get around properly and without any hassle.

Improper environmental lighting can lead to:

-Less vision when the sun comes down

-Trouble finding their way around the house

-Patient more prone to falls

-Disability when carrying out daily tasks

Disruption of the circadian rhythm

-Impaired ability to synthesize Vitamin D

-Impaired ability to absorb calcium

Why use Natural Light?

Natural light is proven to benefit the physical wellbeing of a person.  When re-designing your space for your loved one, using natural light is an important factor that should be integrated into your plans. It is said that a healthy house or building is built with this lighting method by bringing that natural light into the place. This will also help reducing the energy costs.

Ways to get Natural Light into your home:

-Use sources of daylight that comes from every direction

-Raise ceilings or make higher window openings

-Make skylights on the roof

-Make extra windows

When that day is gone and the noon starts kicking in, you will obviously need to have the proper artificial lighting as well. In this case, there several steps you need to take to make the artificial light the proper one.

-Implement a good lighting balance in every room

-Increase light levels (make it seem as natural as possible)

-Avoid the glare from any direction

-Not only quantity of light is needed, the quality is important too

Speaking of quality...

You might wonder what exactly I mean by saying quality of light.  It is not enough for it just to turn on; there are many other factors you must consider to make sure the quality is the correct one.

- Again, the glare factor must be eliminated

-No flickers

-Lighting environment must be uniform (no brighter patches anywhere)

-Check for how accurate colors look under the light (must be 100%)

-The temperature of the light must be ideal

Related reads:

Learning from Dementia

Visiting someone with Dementia