As people age, a home that they have lived comfortably in for many years can become difficult to navigate. There’s a lot to think about when improving a home to create a safe environment that homeowners can grow old in.
When many hear the term “ageing in place,” certain home improvement ideas come to mind: grab bars in the bathroom, wider doorways to boost accessibility, and other safety additions to help make for a secure living environment. What’s often overlooked is a critical type of improvement that addresses both those concerns and directly affects health and wellbeing — access to glare-free, balanced natural daylight.
Architects will often design houses to create light and shadow to add depth and dimension. However, as people age, falling can become a very serious health issue. One of the leading causes of falling is insufficient light in the environment. Since ageing eyes require more light in order to see, standard lighting often becomes inadequate. Artificial light also tends to be glaring, which can hurt sensitive eyes. When natural light is introduced into a living environment, this non-glare light can create a space with less light/shadow patterning than found with artificial light. It is this patterned light that can confuse the eye, resulting in a stumble and fall. The National Safety Council contends that falling accidents are the leading cause of injury-related death for people 75 years and older.
Quality light and a quality life seem to go hand in hand. When people live in an environment filled with non-glare natural light, not only do they negotiate the terrain more confidently, they also tend to be less depressed, more social, less anxious, have a better appetite and sleep better. All these factors add up to a much healthier and happier life, especially for people who are often confined to an indoor environment.
By including Solatube tubular skylights in renovation designs, architects can help their clients by limiting the shadows and the requirement for more artificial light, And as Solar Impulse selected Solatube as one of their ‘1000 Efficient Solutions’ worldwide, they will help protect the environment while offering economic benefits.