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July 2012

Colours for the Older Generation

Becoming old can bring about a sense of loneliness and fear, so decorating with the elderly in mind needs to address warmth, security and harmony.

Variety in the colours of the immediate environment can boost interest in the world and keep cognitive function alive. Older people can be drawn to soft pastels, but these colours may not have the vitality of hue needed to stimulate the mind and mood. Eyesight problems can also impair how the colour is seen and what is seen.

Softer shades of reds and oranges are warming and can help with circulation and energy levels. Peaches, apricots, warm tans, terracottas and pinks can also be used for this purpose.

Reflecting on the past and thoughts of a spiritual future can also be reflected in colour choices. Soft blues, lavender mauves and violets are colours that connect to the spiritual or reflective mood. Studies carried out in nursing/rest homes indicate that soft pinky-beiges contrasted with soft blue/greens are emotionally supporting, physically nourishing and mentally soothing and peaceful. The judicious use of floral patterns can evoke the tranquillity of rural life and the simplicity of times past.

The beauty of paint is that it can be easily changed and updated without the need for massive building works or consents, so the colour scheme can evolve and take on new hues as the occupants move through different life stages.

View more information on Resene, including contact details.
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