EU project invests 1,2 million euros in light to improve health at nursing homes
A consortium of six international partners has initiated a project that develops a circadian lighting solution for nursing homes that is personalized, flexible and digital. A Danish nursing home will test the solution and the effect on both elderly and staff.
Five companies from Switzerland, Poland, and Denmark and one Danish nursing home have joined forces to improve the lighting conditions at European nursing homes. The project is funded by the EU program AAL – Ageing Well in the Digital World and builds on the scientific proof that light controls humans’ circadian rhythm and affects physical and mental health.
“The awareness of the importance of light is increasingly widespread. Chroma Zenit Circadian lighting has been an integrated part of the care in Denmark for several years with very promising results in both usage and research studies. We now wish to develop the solution further so even more elderly and caretakers can experience the benefits of lighting,” explains Hans Kirkegaard, project manager from Danish Chromaviso, coordinator of the partners in the consortium.
The project is called PerCiLight – Personalized and Circadian active dynamic Lighting for institutionalized elderly and as the title points out, it is adapted to the individual elderly’s condition and needs and at the same time very easy to install making it highly applicable in nursing homes across Europe.
Test on elderly with dementia
Bauneparken Nursing home in Denmark will test the PerCiLight solution in 16 apartments. Last year, the nursing home implemented the current Chroma Zenit Circadian lighting from Chromaviso in all hallways and common areas, and the manager looks forward to contributing to the further development:
“We are very happy with our circadian lighting. It supports a natural circadian rhythm, with less activity during the night and more energy during the day.” Gitte Ellekilde Andersen mentions an elderly woman who suffered from depression and spent most of her time in her apartment. Today, she seeks the light in the common areas and joins the activities, positively contributing to her quality of life.
“Another example is how much faster the night shifts fall asleep, whereas earlier it would take a couple of hours to calm down. Our expectations for PerCiLight are high. By making the lighting more personal and installing it in the apartments where the elderly sleep and wake up, we hope to see a positive effect on their sleep, mood, health, and behaviour.”
Digital solution customized for each user
The PerCiLight solution will be user-oriented and customized for everyday life, workflow, and habits at nursing homes. Both the lighting design, the luminaire design and the user interfaces will ensure a homely and welcoming atmosphere, preserving the lighting as an integrated and non-invasive part of the environment. Additionally, the project introduces a novel data-driven system that will assist the staff in the personalization process. To do so, the project leans on the experience and competencies of the partners.
“Having the chance to apply the latest lighting design research into the daily routines of the elderly and staff by creating something beautiful and meaningful with a positive impact is mind-blowing,” says Julia Hartmann, principal and creative director lightsphere, a lighting design company based in Switzerland. Danish designer Steffen Schmelling will take lead in designing the luminaires in PerciLight.
The software and hardware behind the solution are developed in collaboration between the two Polish companies Antologic and Grinn and Danish Chromaviso
“In this project, we will not only share our expert knowledge in the field of electronics but also gain extensive knowledge in the field of lighting. This project will help to better understand the needs of health care staff and the elderly. We are confident that by combining our knowledge and research results, we will improve the environment,” says Łukasz Gajda, CTO and co-founder of Grinn which is specialized in IoT solutions.
The project was launched 1. st of May 2022 and will run for 2,5 years.
The total sum of the project is 1,2 mio. Euros.
For more information, please press the project fact sheet or video below.