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Dementia friendly lighting – factors to consider

Dementia is the general term used to describe loss of memory, language, problem-solving and other cognitive functions to such an extent that it impacts upon a person’s life. It is a condition that can affect anyone at any stage. There is no cure for dementia currently.

The impact of dementia on circadian rhythm

The body’s circadian timing system is progressively disturbed with ageing and these changes are exacerbated in dementia. Disruption to sleep/wake cycles, hormone cycles and a higher propensity to falls can result, as well as behavioural impacts such as sundowning.

Factors to consider when providing dementia friendly lighting in your care home

Many care homes opt for dementia-friendly circadian lighting, as those living with dementia may spend most of their time in artificially lit environments. Circadian lighting is truly dementia-friendly for the reasons stated below.

  • Brightness of the light: For elderly people, light should be bright enough to ensure good visibility during daytime. It should also contain enough melanopic lux or circadian stimulus to ensure good sleep/wake cycles and sleep quality, yet low enough in very short wavelength power to protect against further eye damage.

  • Reduction in contrast or shadows from lighting: ensures an even level of lighting

    throughout rooms and when moving from one area to another

  • Blue lighting management: The blue content of light needs to be managed carefully and with precision in support of natural circadian cycles.

  • Support for sleep/wake cycles: Sleep/wake cycles impact a host of things, including alertness levels during the day and mood. By circadian lighting supporting and promoting healthy sleep/wake cycles, agitation and depression in under adults is proven to reduce, as well as alleviating sundowning for those with dementia.

These are some important factors to consider while arranging lighting for dementia care residents. For better assistance, please get in touch with the team at Circadacare. We are a science-led health tech company specialising in dementia-friendly lighting solutions. For additional details, you can explore our website.