We’ve been discussing various topics about aging in place lately, like what kind of flooring is best as your body ages or what kind of kitchen renovations are most helpful for seniors. But one topic that’s sometimes overlooked in aging in place plans is the lighting and paint colors around your home. These can play an important role, especially when it comes to visibility. Here are a few good ideas for potential improvements.
Aging Eyes and Your Home
A variety of conditions can become more common as our eyes age, creating issues with blurry vision, dim vision, difficulty distinguishing all colors, and sensitivity to bright lights and glare. This can pose several challenges for aging in place, but the right renovations can make a big difference!
Adding More Light
Struggling with dim lighting can make tasks around the home harder and increase the chances of falling or other accidents. To help, owners can install more lighting and upgrade existing lighting with higher wattage. It’s an easy, cost-effective way to address the problem if you’ve already noticed things seem a little dim, especially after the sun goes down.
Using “Cooler” Lights
Lights with cooler color temperatures have a light that’s similar to daylight and less similar to warmer incandescent lights. Cool color temperatures are excellent for visibility and a good upgrade for homes where dim lighting has become an issue. LED lights are typically sold with color temperature guides to help make the right choices.
Using Adjustable Lighting
There are two types of adjustable lighting that are important for homes. The first is spot and activity lighting that can be swiveled, pushed or angled at particular spots (think kitchen counters, workbenches, or shadowy stair corners) for better visibility where it’s needed most.
Cool color temperatures are excellent for visibility and a good upgrade for homes where dim lighting has become an issue. LED lights are typically sold with color temperature guides to help make the right choices.
The second type is light dimmers that allow owners to adjust the brightness of the lights. That way, you can adjust the brightness down during the day or when watching TV to reduce glare, then adjust brightness for other tasks like cooking or cleaning the house, etc. It’s also a good idea to move away from any lights with hoods or shades that cast spots of both bright light and shadows – this can start to get confusing to older or more tired eyes.
Adding the Right Types of Colors
The older our eyes get, the harder time they have distinguishing similar pastel colors. It’s a good idea to pick color schemes with strong contrast and simple designs. Stay away from stripes, dots, and similar patterns that can look confusing or annoying as our eyes age.
Adding Color Highlights
It’s also a good idea to add color highlights around the house for specific objects to make them easier to find at a glance or with dim lighting. If the surrounding colors are light, you would paint these objects with a much darker complementary color. Two important examples are door frames and light switches, which need to be particularly visible.
Would you like to discuss aging in place plans more or get a quote for a specific renovation that you’ve been thinking of? Contact us at Quality Craftsmen. We can help you get your home ready for the future. We are certified aging in place specialists helping families throughout the East Cobb area create a checklist and make recommendations of changes you may need to make to ensure you can continue living in your home today, tomorrow and well into the future. Contact us today to get started.
Subscribe to Quality Craftsmen's Blog