We live longer. As the average life expectancy increases, we are also increasing our expectations for a long and happy life. Retirement is postponed and people often choose to work into their 70’s. Consequently, there are many reasons to do research in the gerontological field.
“Current and future retirees want to live an active life and want to remain living in their home environment as long as possible. It is also becoming more common to be cared for in one’s own home”, says Tommy Govén, researcher in Light and Lighting, who conducted the study with Prof. Thorbjörn Laike at Lund University.
The research duo specialise in investigating how people are affected by increased ambient light, with their previous work focusing on students in primary and secondary schools. Now, they are looking into the situations of the elderly. The study is yet not complete and will be presented at the 28th CIE Session in Manchester, June 28th to July 4th.
The aim was to explore whether dynamic ambient lighting may have a positive impact on the alertness, wellbeing and health of the elderly. The study was conducted in a nursing home with participants over the age of 80. A specially designed LED-luminaire for increased, glare-free, ambient lighting was designed and installed in the different rooms of the nursing home – the resident’s bedroom, the day room and the dining room.
Fagerhult contributed in the development of the luminaire and has also been involved in developing control- and measurement equipment as well programming of the different lighting scenes.
The study was conducted over one year, investigating the resident’s feelings regarding light experience, wellbeing, alertness and sleep during the four seasons. Other parameters considered were nutrition and medication as well as energy consumption.