As we age, our bodies change and so do our physical needs. The older we get, the more pronounced this change, reading small-print may become more difficult and light can produce more glare than before-but the good news is that by adjusting the lighting, we can make things more convenient. This is a good time for thinking about upgrading your home’s lighting.
How the eyes change
As you go through your forties, your eyesight begins to worsen. You may not immediately see the difference, but one day you might find yourself squinting to read the menu or may need glasses for the first time.
The lens of the eye begins to yellow and become stiff, affecting the colour accuracy, making it difficult to focus, and reduces the light entering the eye.
The cornea starts to become thicker and more opaque. Pupils begin to shrink, so less light is able to reach the retina and ciliary muscles gradually lose strength, making it difficult to focus quickly and accurately
How do these changes affect your vision? Over time-usually by the mid-60s you may notice that your eyes:
Need more light to see clearly
Struggle to focus on nearby objects
Take longer to adapt from light to dark and vice versa
More sensitive to glare
Less sensitive to colour
Having a variety of peripheral vision decreases
Fortunately, there are medical procedures and devices that can help reduce the effects of aging in sight. In addition, you can also customize your home lighting to improve some of the problems. When installing new lighting, consider all aspects including the surround, such as Ceiling Roses. Find ceiling roses available here
How to adjust your lighting
Adjusting the lighting of your home is an easy way to adapt your environment to meet your needs, or the needs of their parents or elderly residents in your home.
Increasing the level of light – Over age 65, the eyes usually need twice as much light as someone aged 20 and under. You can solve this by increasing the ambient lighting and task lighting made available in areas where it is needed, such as a favourite reading chair or over kitchen countertops. For task lighting, choose bulbs with minimal lumen levels of 1300 which is roughly the equivalent of a traditional 100 watt bulb. Install dimmer switches to allow more flexibility with the brightness level.
Keep lighting even – Even if you want to create a bright light, you should avoid making too much variation in the level of lights from room to room. As you age, eyes find it harder to adjust to light level variations, so maintaining the level of light evenly throughout the house will help older people move around the home without needing to readjust their eyes to different light levels.
To help create a more even lighting and help slow eyes adjust, you also have to make sure that the lights are easily accessible at the entrance and exit points of each room. Installing a dimmer switch is a further useful method to making the lighting work for each member of the household depending on what they are doing at any point in the day – particularly for those middle of the night visits to the bathroom.