8 Types of Good Lighting Your Loved One With Depression Needs

Are your loved one's living spaces well lit? Good lighting can reduce depression for people with dementia. It may also slow cognitive decline and the loss of functional abilities, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Part of the explanation may be as simple as the fact that being able to see better builds confidence. Good lighting also lets your loved one more easily continue everyday activities and helps keep circadian rhythms on track.

Here are 8 lighting sources to check:

  • A good bedside lamp in the bedroom. Use 100-watt bulbs (make sure they're safe for the lamp).

  • A night-light in the room that stays on all the time. Position it so the bulb doesn't directly shine where it can be seen from bed.

  • Clean windows with shades that open easily in both the bedroom and whichever room your loved one likes to sit.

  • Strong, clear light over the dining table. You want your loved one to see the food!

  • A porch light, if you sit outside in the evenings.

  • A well-lit path to the bathroom at night. Use night-lights to illuminate the entire route from bedroom to hall to bathroom.

  • Easy-on, toggle-style light switches throughout the house, especially in the bathroom.

  • A night-light inside the bathroom, in case the overhead light isn't used.

Paula Spencer Scott

Paula Spencer Scott is the author of Surviving Alzheimer's: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers and much of the Alzheimer's and caregiving content on Caring. See full bio

over 4 years, said...

Well, yes and No, I do all the suggested means of increasing the light, my husband goes around closing all the shades. "someone might look in", he is afraid that others will come and rob us. At least he leaves the night light on, as long as the shades are closed that is.

over 4 years, said...

This was intended for me the CAREGIVER!!! Thank you for the information.

almost 5 years, said...

I will be working on the lighting in my Dad's apartment. I know his bedroom light is probably 25 watts, so I'll find an LED light that is equivalent to 100 watts. He keeps one light in the living room on all the time, so it gives some light into his bedroom during the night, but I'll place some motion detector LED's that I have to light the pathway to the bathroom for him. We already have a nightlight in his bathroom, but I'll put a newer LED one to replace the one from the '60s that is currently there. Thank you for the reminder!

over 6 years, said...

Yes, but my 88 year old mother-in-law refuses to have lights on. Until we recently moved her into assisted living, she kept the curtains closed and the lights off in her house. Good lighting is a good idea, but it always caused her to get upset when I would open the curtains and turn on the lights.