Prevent Falls with Good Lighting

Generally people with low vision need three to four times the amount of light as a person with normal vision. The need for light continues to increase as we age.

To prevent falls, think carefully about the lighting in your home. Make sure the lighting is as even as possible, free from glare and shadows, and easy for you to access.

Here are some ideas:

  • Use night lights in hallways, bedrooms and bathrooms to maintain even lighting at night. You can purchase the light sensor type that comes on automatically when the room or hallway is dark.

  • Increase the number of light sources: more lamps, bar lamps in kitchen and in the closets or pantry.

  • Try using clap-on/clap-off lights in the living room and in your bedroom to keep you from having to get up from your chair to adjust the lighting.

  • Place a lamp at your bedside, in case you need to get out of bed in the middle of the night.

  • Use adjustable blinds or vertical shades to adjust lighting levels and glare. Also try using sheer drapes over windows to reduce glare.

  • Place light switches at every doorway to avoid walking great distances in a dimly lit or dark room.

  • Install or paint light switch plates a bold, contrasting color to prevent searching along the wall for a switch.

  • Increase wattage: use brighter bulbs to increase intensity; be sure not to exceed safety levels of the fixtures.

  • Use dimmer switches to control the glare and adjust the lighting.

  • When outside, use sunglasses or hats with visors.

  • Try ultraviolet (UV) shields with different tints to assist with glare control and UV shields of different colors for indoor and outdoor use.

For more information on prevention of falls by using good lighting techniques, watch our Senior Site videos on falls.

This tip was brought to you by Vision Rehabilitation Services of Georgia, the Senior Site agency of the month.

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