Circadian lighting makes care home ‘more peaceful’

A CIRCADIAN controlled light at a nursing home in Denmark has cut nocturnal ‘unrest’ and led to a ‘happier and more peaceful’ environment, say centre managers.

It appears that the new lighting is, anecdotally, leading to better sleep and less unrest at night, as well as happier and more participating residents during the day. The centre’s dementia expert, Maja Nykjær Kristensen, believes the project has been a big success.

At the end of 2018, Skovvang Nursing Centre had full dynamic installed from Danish specialist Lightcare in one of two sections that houses older people living with dementia. 

A total of eight homes as well as the large kitchen and living room have been replaced with the fully automatic controlled system.

It appears that the new system is, anecdotally, leading to better sleep and less unrest at night, as well as happier and more participating residents during the day.

The centre’s dementia expert, Maja Nykjær Kristensen, believes the project has been a big success.

‘We wanted to implement circadian rhythm controlled light, with the overall purpose of increasing the well-being of both residents and staff. 

‘More specifically, we had experienced some unrest at night on the section and we wanted to put that to life because we saw the unrest disturbing most of the residents’ night's sleep, which had a negative effect on the residents' activity level and their mood the day after.

‘We found that the residents often seemed tired and irritable during the day, which affected the mood and mood of both residents and staff. 

‘We therefore wanted to create more peace at night, thereby increasing the quality of the residents' night's sleep. At the same time, our hope was that a better night's sleep would give residents more energy and improve their mood during the day.

'According to our internal documentation, we can conclude that there is now much more peace at night. 

‘This has meant that residents are awake in a different way than before and that there is more activity during the day. 

‘There are now more residents joining our activities because they have more energy and profits, and we also find that the residents stay longer and are more involved in the activities.

‘In addition to the increased quiet at night as well as increased activity during the day, we also experience far fewer episodes during the day where our residents exhibit aggressive behaviour and are frustrated. They have become calmer and more happy’.

Kristensen also believe the lighting is a major benefit to the staff too.

‘I am very positive about how well the staff has received the system and how good they are at using it in everyday life. 

For example, staff use the opportunity to create soothing light in connection with a daily fixed session, where residents sit together in the living room and rest and listen to relaxing music or take a nap in comfortable armchairs with blankets.

 ‘The fact that the system automatically simulates daylight and thus follows the natural rhythm of the day makes the residents easier to register and sense the day's rhythm, which makes it easier for the staff to get the residents into a more structured rhythm.’

 

 

  • Learn more about circadian lighting at the LuxLive 2019 exhibition, taking place taking place at London ExCeL on Wednesday 13 November and Thursday 14 November 2019. Entry is free - see the full programme and register for free HERE.