SENIOR LIVING: RETIREMENT FLATS IN IZOLA

Human vision gets worse with age. In middle age, the lens of the eye becomes less flexible and less able to thicken and thus less able to focus on nearby objects. It also can appear yellow in the elderly due to the accumulation of a pigment associated with age-related wear and tear in the tissue. Therefore the need for better illumination among olred people is increasing. One should also highlight sensitivity to glare.  

A natural and regular circadian rhythm is especially important for the elderly, as it affects their immune defence positively and supports good and healthy sleep. When designing lighting for retirement flats in Izola, we were considering all criteria for appropriate illumination for senior living and can confirm that our efforts were largely met. 

CLIENT’S BRIEF ABOUT THE HOUSING AND DESIRED LIGHTING

The development comprises 60 flats ranging 36–59 m2 in size, and common public spaces, garages and a garden.

The lighting in the flats should fit the seniors’ lifestyle and visual capacity, while promoting active and healthy living. In short, the client wants lighting that stimulates the tenants for activities during the day, while supporting restful sleep during the night, subsequently improving their wellbeing.

OUR SOLUTION

We recommended the use of fixtures with selectable spectral distribution, which can be adjusted for different times of the day.

In the morning and during the day, the spectral distribution should imitate the daylight containing more energy in shortwave blue light, which stops the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, and helps produce the hormones cortisol and serotonin to support daytime activities. In the afternoon and evening, the distributed spectrum changes and the bluish spectrum range dwindles, signalling the body that night was coming and the production of the sleep hormone melatonin should start according to the natural circadian rhythm.

Evidence also suggests that a regular circadian rhythm slows down or stops the development of dementia, and gives the body better resistance against certain common types of cancer, such as breast cancer among woman and colon cancer among men.

Both, daytime and night-time lighting is planned glare free, with good luminance balance to enhance and improve the visual capacity of senior tenants. Selected light sources also do not produce any flicker, so as not to disturb the nervous system.

We hope that the new tenants of the Izola seniors’ centre will feel good in their new homes, and that their peers visiting the adjoining day centre, which will be open to the entire community, will also enjoy the new premises.