Seniors benefit from natural light

Seniors benefit from natural light

(ARA)- According to the Center of Design For An Aging Society in Portland, Ore., older people need more light (about 3 to 5 times more than younger people) for both vision and maintaining health.
Seniors are well aware that as they age their eye lenses thicken and their pupils shrink. This causes their eyes to adapt more slowly to changing light conditions and increases the need for more light, and not just for vision and safety.
Many seniors don't get outside enough, so there are many reasons to consider bringing more natural light in. They need vitamin D for calcium to be absorbed by the body to strengthen teeth, bones and tissue to maintain a healthy skeleton throughout life. Two sources of vitamin D are diet and sunlight. In healthy human bodies, 80 percent of vitamin D is produced in the skin when it is exposed to natural light. A vitamin D deficiency can contribute to the brittle-bone disease osteoporosis, a major issue of aging, particularly for women.
And the benefits of having abundant daylight in our homes aren't just physical. Studies show that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), evidenced by emotional depression, a drop in physical energy, increased appetite, and need for more sleep, is directly linked to a lack of sufficient daylight.
Sunlight can enter our dwellings and be balanced through the use of windows, doors and skylights.
Skylights also offer economic benefits--a way to stretch fixed-income dollars with a one-time purchase that pays benefits over time by reducing energy costs.