LED Lighting Decreases Falls by 43 Percent, a Study
Researchers from Harvard University and Midwest Lighting Institute recently conducted a study to better understand the correlation between falls, lighting and natural sleep and wake rhythm patterns. McKnight’s reports that in the two skilled nursing facilities where these studies were conducted, falls fell by 43 percent after the introduction of a dynamic lighting program.
In the two long-term care facilities, researchers analyzed the effect solid-state (LED) lighting had on alertness, sleep and visual acuity and their impact on falls.
During the study, solid-state lighting was installed in both facilities. During the day the intensity and spectrum were altered by increasing blue light or short-wavelength. At night time, it was decreased. Additionally, both facilities also maintained their standard static lighting during the day with no changes.
Medical records were analyzed for about two years to track falls. Results confirmed a 43 percent decrease in falls in the experimental locations when compared to locations with no changes in lighting. Before the light installations, fall rates were similar in both experimental and control locations.
Shadab A. Rahman, PhD, MPH of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston and Harvard Medical School, stated programs aimed to prevent falls are “time-intensive” and have “modest results.” However, an installation of solid-state lighting does not require ongoing efforts by residents or staff and is an inexpensive and energy efficient way to help reduce falls.
Rahman and colleagues stated, “Even a modest reduction in falls resulting from lighting upgrades would be impactful, given the devastating ramifications of falls for aged care resident health and the associated economic burden.”
Clinicians at Cornerstone Rehab provide rehabilitation therapy for patients in skilled nursing facilities who may be recovering from falls. In addition, they offer balance training for fall prevention. Learn how you can join our team of skilled clinicians.
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