Care homes and residential villages can be a daunting place which is why it is very important to create a comfortable atmosphere for the residents. A thorough lighting design is one of the most important considerations required to make an environment feel comfortable, friendly and safe. In addition to the needs of the residents the caregivers also require excellent lighting levels for activities that they must undertake when caring for patients.
Not many applications demand such complex lighting requirements as the care home and residential home sectors. An extensive variety of prerequisites must be met with a specific end goal to make the ideal lighting environment.
In care homes and residential villages lighting can act as an aid or hindrance to sleep. The lack of exposure to sufficient light during the daytime can have a significant impact on sleep among older people (Ancoli-Israel, 2006) and with nearly two-thirds of care home residents experience sleep disorders (Avidan, 2006) correct lighting is essential.
According to a study 50 per cent of awakenings of more than four minutes were associated with either light or noise (Schnelle et al., 1993a, 1993b). It is important to realise that disturbed sleep amongst residents of supported living residences can be reduced by managing contributory factors to sleep disturbance that we can can control such as light levels.
For the elderly, especially those suffering with dementia lighting plays an important role as a source of information about the time of day and night. Suffers of dementia require very clear information about what they are supposed to be doing, as their own cognitive skills will be impaired and unable to compensate for wrong or misguiding information.
There are changes to the circadian rhythm and other physical and psychiatric and medical interventions that can affect the sleep patterns of older people. A change in lighting in the night time is essential so that there is a message given about the time of of the day. Low-level light is more indicative of night-time providing the brain with clear cues and clues that the time has come for bed and sleep.
Consideration also needs to be made on how to achieve a ‘feel-good’ atmosphere for residents. Lighting therefore has to cater for the needs and preferences of various groups of individuals in different care needs. RICOMAN’s intelligent lighting solutions reconcile these disparate requirements.
By blending innovative technologies with intelligent controls RICOMAN are able to maximise the quality of light and minimise energy consumption. This is how RICOMAN strikes a balance between lighting quality and energy efficiency.
AGEING and Eyesight deterioration
In many older people deterioration of eyesight is commonplace, this could be through ill health however is often simply due to the ageing process. When vision is reduced it can have a tremendous effect on a persons independence and self-confidence. Those affected will have difficulty navigating spaces comfortably and can can easily suffer injuries. We can help to combat the consequences of poor vision by using the appropriate lighting to help avoid trips and falls by providing proper illumination.
LIGHTING GUIDELINES – RICOMAN RECOMMENDATIONS
Since 2003 EU member countries have had a common standard (EN 12464) for light planning in workplaces.
British Standard EN 12464 specifies lighting requirements for people in indoor workplaces, to meet the needs for visual comfort and performance of people having normal ophthalmic (visual) capacity. However the elderly often suffer from deterioration in their eyesight which means a more stringiest set of requirements are required.
In all care environments light is important design tool in creating a safe and comfortable environment. Used effectively, lighting can have a positive impact on wellbeing, health and capability. RICOMAN create lighting designs that are tailored for each projects requirements, careful consideration is made about the needs of the end users with comfort and safety being at the forefront.