Lighting for visual performance in older Adults

    Watch this webinar to learn how light can help to alleviate problems associated with the aging eye, from visibility and sleep to posture and risk of falls.


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    Presented by

    Mariana G. Figueiro, Ph.D
    Mariana G. Figueiro, Ph.D

    Mariana is Director of the Lighting Research Center (LRC) and Professor of Architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her research regularly features in national media including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Scientific American.

    Key topics and learnings

    Aging can be difficult. It’s common for older adults to experience reduced visual capacity, sleep problems, and increased risk of injury from falls – especially at night. Even among relatively healthy people, age-related changes to the eye, increased rates of eye disease, and diminished postural control and stability can amplify these problems, which are especially pronounced in people with Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related cognitive impairments. 


    Thankfully, there are things we can do to make aging easier. Research shows that lighting can be used to improve these conditions and decrease risks for older adults. Lighting that provides high light levels, reduces glare, minimizes shadows and enhances the ability to discriminate colours can improve visibility. Lighting can be used to improve sleep, and by extension health and wellbeing, by aiding the body’s sleep-wake circadian rhythm. There’s also promising evidence that night lighting that provides vertical and horizontal visual cues without disturbing sleep can improve seniors’ postural control, helping navigation in hallways and bathrooms at night. 


    Watch this webinar to learn how the aging visual system affects visibility, sleep and risk of falls, and how light can be used to overcome some of the negative consequences associated with the aging eye by promoting everyday visual performance in the home and elsewhere in the built environment. The webinar will discuss 24-hour lighting schemes designed to help older adults see better, sleep better and reduce risks for falls. The webinar will cover the basics of the circadian rhythm, light’s role in providing cues for its synchronization and how its stimulus can be integrated with lighting design for the promotion of health and wellbeing.

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