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Lighten Up Your Living Space and Reduce Fall Risk

Falls are a serious concern, especially for older adults. But there are simple steps you can take to create a safer living environment. One often-overlooked factor? Lighting! Here are some tips to use light strategically to help minimize the risk of falls in your home:

Brighter is Better:

  • Amp Up the Bulbs:  Increase the wattage of bulbs in frequently used rooms. Aim for 60-watt (or LED equivalent) bulbs or higher in kitchens, bathrooms, hallways, and stairwells.

  • Layer Your Lighting: Combine overhead lights with task lighting like lamps near reading areas or by the bedside. This multi-layered approach reduces shadows and improves depth perception.

  • Consider Natural Light: If possible, maximize natural light during the day by opening curtains and blinds. This can be tricky for seniors with less mobility, think about how your loved one is able to get access to those blinds. Would automatic or remote controlled blinds be an option?

Light Where You Need It Most:

  • Illuminate Entryways and Hallways: Install lights with motion sensors at entrances and along hallways to automatically turn on when someone walks by. This is especially helpful at night or in low-light situations.

  • Light Up the Stairs: Make sure there are light switches at both the top and bottom of stairwells. Consider nightlights or step lights along the stairs for added visibility.

  • Bathroom Bright Light: Bathrooms can be hazardous with slippery surfaces. Install bright bulbs around the vanity mirror and shower/tub area.

Lighting for Nighttime:

  • Nightlights are Essential: Place nightlights in hallways, bedrooms, and bathrooms to provide a soft glow for nighttime navigation.

  • Consider Under-the-Bed Lighting: Low-level lighting strips under the bed can illuminate the path when getting up at night.

  • Think Motion-Activated Lights: Strategically placed motion-activated lights in frequently used areas at night can provide a safe and hands-free lighting solution.

  • Outdoor Lighting: It is also just as important to update and maintain the location and brightness of lights outside the home to illuminate any pathways and stairs for entry and exit during night time.

Bonus Tips:

  • Use Nightlight Covers: Opt for nightlights with soft, diffused covers to avoid harsh glare that can disrupt sleep.

  • Regular Bulb Changes: Replace bulbs that are dim or flickering to maintain optimal brightness.

  • Consult an Eye Doctor: Regular eye exams can ensure you have the correct prescription for optimal vision, which can further reduce fall risk.

By following these lighting tips, you can create a brighter and safer living environment that helps prevent falls and promotes independence. Remember, good lighting is an easy and affordable way to make a big difference!


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