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Nursing home manager helps elderly citizen to use the control panel for the circadian lighting from Chromaviso
Ane EskildsenOctober 27, 20154 min read

Circadian lighting help elderly gain energy, eat, and sleep well

The nursing home Sønderskovhus in Lystrup installed Ergonomic Circadian Lighting in October 2015. The lighting is tailored to the needs of the users and supports the natural circadian rhythm of both residents and staff.

In connection with a renovation of the nursing home at Lokalcenter Sønderskovhus, a total of 12 nursing home, a dining room, a living room, and several activity rooms have installed ergonomic circadian lighting from Chromaviso.

— The lighting is intended to provide residents with the necessary light during the day so that they can sleep well at night. It aims to establish a normal circadian rhythm. I am very inspired by the potential of the new lighting and satisfied that it is adapted to our residents' rhythm, says Conny F. Christensen, manager of the nursing home at Sønderskovhus.

Two Circadian Rhythms

Ergonomic Circadian Rhythm Lights are automatically controlled lights. They are based on a clinically validated light protocol and follow a fixed rhythm throughout the day to ensure a healthy circadian rhythm for the body. Additionally, the lighting offers multiple settings tailored to the various activities at the center.

— We have lighting that suits the needs of our residents. We can choose between two circadian rhythms, either A or B. This is because several of our residents prefer to sleep longer and need the extra sleep, explains Conny F. Christensen. The nursing home accommodate both individuals and couples, including several individuals with dementia.

Portrait of nursing home manager Conny F. Christensen from PlejeCenter Lystrup

The Effect is Noticeable

In collaboration with Chromaviso's lighting experts, the staff has developed two lighting settings: "Hygge" (Coziness) and "Aktivitet" (Activity). These settings have been actively used in daily life from the very first day.

— The opportunity to use lighting to support residents' well-being is exciting. Some residents are passive, and in those cases, we switch on our Activity lights to make them more active. For example, before meals, to stimulate their appetite. Conversely, with our Hygge lights, we can help residents calm down, alleviate anxiety, and restlessness. We can soothe those who may be experiencing delirium, explains Conny F. Christensen.

The Lights Can Calm the Agitated Ones

The relaxing Hygge lights can almost instantly create a peaceful atmosphere in a room.

— I was with a resident who was very agitated. I turned her away from the window and the external light, and instead, I turned on the Hygge lights. She immediately calmed down, says health care assistant Bjørk Dãnjalsdottier, who herself feels the effects of the lighting.

— It can have a significant effect on the residents because there is a noticeable difference in the lighting. I feel more energized with the new daylight-like lighting, while the softer lighting is suitable for creating a cozy ambiance or preparing for nighttime, adds Conny F. Christensen. She also notes that the staff's overall behavior changes with the new lighting.

— When we dim the lights to Hygge mode, we naturally lower our voices, and we ourselves become calmer, says Conny F. Christensen.

Intuitive Controls Provide Comfort

The controls have been specially designed by Chromaviso to be user-friendly and fit into the homely environment. In all nursing home appartments, push-button panels have been installed, and although it is mostly the staff who handle the lighting, the residents have also embraced the new illumination.

— The new lighting is exciting. It is pleasant and easy to use, says Erik Andersen, who lives together with his wife Bente.

Two senior citizens drink coffee in their nursing home with Chromaviso's circadian lighting

The staff can also have an overview of the lighting in all rooms through a central touch screen in the office. From there, they can also control the lights and proactively address any emergency situations.

— We turn on the full lights before we approach an alarm. It provides reassurance to the resident, knowing that we have heard them and are on our way, explains Conny F. Christensen.
The Center for Assistive Technology in Aarhus Municipality is a partner in the project. They work on how new innovative technologies can provide older citizens with the freedom to lead as normal a life as possible and have a good night's sleep.

Watch a news report about the solution here (TV2 Danish Television).


Controls and Lighting Settings

Circadian Lighting: The lights simulate sunrise in the morning, reach their highest intensity during the day, and in the evening, a specially developed night light is turned on. It can be set as either A or B, depending on whether residents prefer to sleep in.

Activity: Bright white and bluish light that provides energy for activities.

Hygge: Dimmed, warm, and golden light that creates balance and tranquility in a room.

The lights can be adjusted, dimmed, and turned off.

About the Solution at Sønderskovhus Nursing Home

Ergonomic circadian lighting provide health-promoting lighting throughout the day. It is an automatically controlled lighting system that supports the natural circadian rhythm of patients and staff.

  • 12 nursing homes, a dining room, a living room, and several activity rooms have Ergonomic circadian lighting.
  • Behavior-stimulating lighting - promotes good sleep, appetite, etc.
  • Specially developed night light - ensures optimal lighting for staff without disrupting the body's circadian rhythm.
  • The lights can be operated with five basic settings in all rooms via push buttons and centrally through a touch screen.
  • Utilizes the latest LED technologies with energy-efficient light sources.