Bright Ideas for Aging Eyes

Beginning somewhere north of age 40, most adults will find their eyes require stonger lighting to function their best and as the days become shorter and darker, it’s a good time to evaluate lighting needs around the home.

A 60-year-old may need twice the light as a 30 year old to see well and because nearly all hip fractures are as a result of a fall, sufficient lighting is a necessity as we advance in years. Fortunately, there have been many lighting advances in recent years that are boon to older eyes.

Shedding a Light on Things:

  • The light bulb itself has enjoyed a makeover in recent years. Smart light bulbs connect wirelessly with home automation devices to allow lighting to be controlled remotely with a smartphone or tablet. Once programmed, you need never come home or wake up to a dark house, reducing the risk of trip and fall accidents around the house.
  • If a smart home makeover is too much expense or technology, motion and daylight sensor fixtures are still a great solution for outdoor lighting needs. Keeping pathways well-lit and free of tripping hazards will help prevent injuries.
  • LED lighting is a cooler source of light and can help prevent burns for seniors who may inadvertently touch a bulb due to a loss of dexterity or arthritis in older age. LED bulbs burn at one fifth the temperature of a halogen bulb.
  • Battery operated LED tap lights are a simple, inexpensive, safe alternative to burning candles during a power outage. They can stick anywhere, are easily operated and offer a long lasting, bright source of light. Rechargeable plug-in flashlights are also handy to have on hand if the lights go out and make a good gift for seniors living independently.
  • While it may not be a hazard exactly, women spend countless hours rummaging around in their purses for keys, glasses and cellphones.  Often dark and unyielding, the handbag can become a black hole for personal items, until you discover an automatic purse light. This simple clip-on device can save time and frustration by automatically turning on a light when you open your purse. They are also a great solution for gym bags, carry-on luggage or backpacks; a perfect stocking stuffer idea for all ages.

Family and friends of aging seniors living independently can help keep their loved-one safer at home by spending a bit of time, perhaps over Thanksgiving, ensuring their elder’s living space and especially bathrooms and hallways have good light sources both during the day and for night time visits to the bathroom or kitchen.