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Staff member walks down a long corridor in a care home with circadian lighting from Chromaviso in the ceiling
Ane EskildsenNovember 17, 20162 min read

Randers Municipality Prioritizes Circadian Lighting for Elderly Care

Randers Municipality is now prioritizing circadian lighting as a welfare technology that contributes to the care sector's major challenges with restless sleep, night wandering, nighttime calls, and lack of appetite.

Between 50-70% of older adults and people with dementia suffer from circadian rhythm and sleep disorders. This has significant consequences as the lack of sleep affects memory, cognitive abilities, energy levels for daily tasks, and the risk of falls, depression, and aggression.

In response to this challenge, Randers Municipality is adopting a new non-pharmacological welfare technology in the form of circadian lighting from the company Chromaviso. Circadian lighting is an automatically controlled light that changes in a smooth, gradual motion throughout the day, mimicking natural outdoor lighting. The aim is to establish a healthy circadian rhythm and promote good sleep for both residents and night shift staff.

Elderly man in nursing home uses Chromaviso's control panel for the circadian lighting

"Fremtidens Plejehjem" in Randers

In Randers Municipality, construction is underway on the new dementia-friendly Fremtidens Plejehjem (en: The Nursing Home of the Future) – a nursing home with 60 residences, communal areas, and offices spread across 4,725 square meters. The construction is set to be completed in 2017, and the municipality has chosen circadian lighting throughout the facility.

— We have many issues with older adults with dementia who do not sense day and night and therefore wander restlessly at night. This is a significant challenge for the individual resident, who does not get an important sleep, for fellow residents who are awakened, and for our staff who are understaffed at night, explains Per Christensen, elderly chief in Randers Municipality.

Experiences and studies from other locations in the country, including Aarhus University Hospital, Rigshospitalet Glostrup, Lokalcenter Sønderskovhus, and DemensCentrum Aarhus, show positive effects such as improved sleep, increased energy, a calmer night with fewer nighttime calls, increased security, and improved appetite.

— I have seen and heard about the solution in other places, including intensive care units, where circadian lighting helps patients adjust their sleep schedule. The experiences others have had look very promising, which is why we also decided to prioritize circadian lighting, says Per Christensen.

Increase in Interest

According to Chromaviso, an essential parameter in the circadian rhythm solution is natural light. Chromaviso's circadian lighting includes a specially developed amber-coloured night light without the blue wavelengths that affect the body's circadian rhythm and the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.

— Our circadian lighting is based on a clinically validated light protocol developed in research projects. This means that the light is composed with the right intensity, colour spectrum, and timing throughout the day to achieve the physiological effect, explains Claus Puggaard, Sales Director and Partner at Chromaviso.

Additionally, user-friendly controls and activity-based light settings for therapeutic purposes and sensory stimuli make circadian lighting an active part of daily treatment and work. For example, calming lights for agitated situations.

— Our circadian lighting has been developed in close collaboration with the staff and residents. It is tailored to the rhythm and needs of each department, which means that the implementation is smooth, and the light makes a difference from day one – also for the well-being of the staff, concludes Claus Puggaard.

Chromaviso is experiencing a general increase in interest in the nursing sector. In addition to the nursing home in Randers, several other nursing homes have chosen the solution in recent months, including Møllevangens Plejehjem in Agerskov (Tønder Municipality) and Demensplejehjemmet Skovgården in Hadsund (Mariager Municipality), which have opted for a stimulation concept.