Ensuring your care home or residential environment has plenty of light is an important factor to consider. As we age, our eyesight tends to get poorer and we need more light to function. On top of that, access to natural light can help keep circadian rhythms in check, making sleeping and waking easier.
Tie Back Your Curtains
This is a simple and cost effective way to bring light into any room. By simply tying back curtains each day, you can allow more unobstructed light into your home. On Dayex: Brass tieback hooks
Make sure your windows are unobstructed - and clean them!
Another simple thing you can do straight away. By cleaning your windows and clearing them of any obstructions, you might just make all the difference.
Consider swapping out curtains seasonally
Whilst it isn't a good idea to forgo blackout curtains in bedrooms as when we age we find it more difficult to sleep, you could consider swapping out curtains in communal areas for lighter shades during the summer. They can also be used to create sunny accents against a neutral room. On Dayex: Kettlewell Linen Fire Retardant Curtains
Make sure outdoor spaces are accessible and open where available
This is especially important in care homes. Having access to nature can greatly improve well being as well as providing ample sources for light and connecting the outside to the inside.
Fill in gaps in natural light with highly hung light sources
Highly hung light sources are easier to perceive as natural light. Furthermore, by providing even lighting you can rid your room of any dark corners. It's also vital for those with dementia to have even lighting in their environment, as they might see dark corners as holes or gaps.
Consider recessed lighting
Recessed ceiling lighting or recessed lighting in shelving units can provide a great way of increasing light, as well as making shelving or bookcases more accessible to the visually impaired.
Bookshelves and partitions should be perpendicular to windows
By having bookshelves and similar parallel to windows, they can block out light. Keeping them perpendicular can keep rooms open. On Dayex: Colbury Display Furniture
Use matte paint
Whilst glossy paint reflects light in different directions, matte paint provides a more even finish and reduces glare.
Use mirrors and mirror art
Mirrors can easily be used to reflect light when placed strategically. However, it's important to consider reducing glare in a care home, and if you're catering for a person with dementia, they might feel fearful at the sight of their reflection.
Paint your ceilings pale
Pale ceilings in white, off-white or pastel colours can provide the illusion of height and prevent a room from feeling oppressive.