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Enlighten: Lighting for older people and people with dementia 
by David McNair, Richard Pollock and Colm Cunningham

Older people need about twice as much light as younger people to accomplish everyday tasks comfortably and the need is even greater for people with dementia.

Light and lighting that promotes health and independence doesn’t just happen. It needs to be designed, with awareness of the specific needs of older people and people with dementia. With many nations experiencing rapidly ageing populations and nearly 50 million people globally living with dementia, improving lighting design and access to natural light is a simple way to make a world of difference to their quality of life. 

Enlighten: Lighting for older people and people with dementia provides general insights for a broad readership, recommendations for care professionals and detailed technical information for engineers, architects and designers responsible for new buildings, refurbishments and alterations.

Enlighten explains how much light is enough, why access to natural light benefits health and how contrast, colour and reflection can hinder or support us in making sense of our world.

The three authors have decades of experience across lighting engineering, building design and dementia care, ensuring that Enlighten is a go-to resource for creating dementia-inclusive environments that improve quality of life and increase independence.


‘The need to ensure dignified, enabled and enjoyable living conditions in care settings is increasing as our elderly population grows, and good lighting is one of the most significant, yet undermined and misunderstood facets of good quality care. Improving lighting conditions will result in increased appetite, physical fitness, self-esteem, mood, and overall wellbeing. Enlighten shows us how and why to achieve these benefits, proving light in our aged-care homes may be of greater significance than previously assumed. Particularly welcome is the emphasis placed on the use of daylight.’  Jens Christoffersen, Knowledge Centre for Daylight, Energy and Indoor Climate, Denmark

'The Institute of Lighting Professional (ILP) is delighted to endorse Enlighten which provides wide ranging and important light and lighting content. Lighting practitioners, architects and care professionals everywhere will be able to use the information and recommendations contained in this book to enhance the safety, quality of life and mental and physical wellbeing of older people, people with dementia and their carers.'  Richard Frost, Chief Executive, ILP

eBook available

Enlighten is available as an eBook on the following platforms:

Product details

  • Format: Softcover
  • Dimensions: 250 x 176 x 8 mm
  • No. of pages: 124
  • Published by HammondCare in 2017