Whether we realize it or not, we all crave natural light. Each morning we push our curtains to the edges of our windows, letting as much of the sunlight in as possible. We get excited when our new office at work has a view, so our workspace is flooded with the light. Natural light is even a major selling point when it comes to buying a home. Of course, there is a reason for this, but did you know that natural light can provide health benefits to those living with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia?
With memory care and senior living communities throughout Alabama, Community Senior Life knows how valuable natural light can be to an individual’s health and well-being. We are sharing the benefits of exposure to natural light for individuals living with dementia and how you can bring more of it into your home.
The Benefits of Natural Light
A common symptom of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia is depression, but you can help alleviate these feelings by exposing your loved one to more natural light.
According to Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience, “exposure to light has been reported to activate the synthesis of serotonin in yeast extractions, suggesting a direct relationship between sunshine and the production of serotonin.”
Exposure to natural light helps our bodies produce serotonin and endorphins, the “feel good” hormones. The more exposure to natural light we get, the more of these hormones our bodies produce, which can help reduce feelings of depression.
Resetting the Inner Circadian Rhythm
The inner circadian rhythm is our biological, internal clock that tells us when to sleep and when to wake up. Another common symptom of dementia is having trouble sleeping. The Alzheimer’s Association states that “scientists do not completely understand why this happens. As with changes in memory and behavior, sleep changes somehow result from the impact of Alzheimer’s on the brain.”
Getting enough exposure to natural light during the day, especially in the morning hours, can help individuals living with dementia reset their internal clock, allowing them to have more energy during the day and sleep better at night.
Producing Vitamin D
Vitamin D is also referred to as “the sunshine vitamin,” and for a good reason. Exposure to the sun helps our bodies produce this essential vitamin that promotes strong bones, supports the immune system, and reduces feelings of depression.
Natural light triggers our bodies to produce vitamin D, and the best part is that this triggering happens whether the exposure to natural light is indoors or outdoors.
Bringing the Natural Light Indoors
Rearrange Your Loved One’s Furniture
Windows are your loved one’s portholes to the outdoors. Whether they spend most of their time inside or outside, it is still important to maximize the natural light that comes into their home.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to rearrange their furniture to ensure that it is not blocking the windows.
Paint the Walls
Dark colors absorb light, whereas lighter colors reflect back into the space. Paint the interior walls of your loved one’s home a light color so that the space feels brighter and the natural light can highlight the room.
Open the Curtains
This may seem like an obvious tip, but many people forget or simply refrain from opening the curtains each morning. Make sure that the curtains are pulled back as far as possible to ensure maximum natural light comes through the windows.
Memory Care in Alabama
Community Senior Life is dedicated to providing Alzheimer’s and dementia care that is unsurpassed. Our caregivers deliver personalized care in a safe and welcoming environment so residents can thrive and have meaningful experiences.
The Community Senior Life approach to daily living is what contributes to low stress, soothing atmosphere. Our memory care floor plans are designed to allow in as much natural light as possible, enabling our residents to reap the many natural benefits that it provides.
Our goal is to provide our residents with a true home away from home that helps them safely maintain their independence as much as possible while offering 24/7 care support. We invite you to visit our website to learn more about our memory care communities in Alabama.