Electrical contractor in Bethesda MD, Meyer Electrical Services Inc.
Written by Walt Meyer

Make Your Home’s Lighting Easier for the Elderly and Disabled

Being a caregiver for the elderly or disabled is filled with challenges. One way you can make their lives easier is by creating a home living environment that is more accessible and safer in terms of lighting. We will discuss a number of good ideas that will help you accomplish this. Remember to work with a licensed electrician for your safety and the best results.

Accessible Light Switches

Light switches that are hard to reach are a common problem for people who are physically challenged. Typically, light switches are installed too high for those in wheelchairs. Light switches are also located at the rear of counters, preventing access. Principles of universal design advise that light switches be installed at a height of 36 to 44 inches and not at the rear of counters.

Lighting the Way

Lighting needs are greater for those with spatial navigation issues, including poor vision.  Ground track LED lighting along hallways and outdoor paths significantly improve safety. Lights should be installed flush against surfaces to prevent tripping or catching.
Other good lighting locations are around grab rails, door latches, stairs, and banisters.

Minimize Glare

Wheelchair users often have to deal with lights beaming straight into their eyes due to being in a lower position while sitting. Light fixtures installed beneath cabinets or mounted at certain angles result in the same vision issues. Installing lights at lower positions or using fixtures designed to decrease glare are two ways to decrease this problem.

Motion Sensors

Another lighting design method that improves both access and safety is the installation of motion sensors. Bathrooms and the outdoors are two home areas where the presence of well-placed motion sensors will especially increase safety because residents with poor vision and/or disabilities won’t have to search and fumble for light switches.

Rocker-Style Light Switch

An option that will certainly promote safety is the large rocker-style light switch, which is much easier to use than a conventional light switch. It also provides increased accessibility for individuals with diminished fine motor skills.

Electrical Services You Can Trust

Founded in 1991, Meyer Electrical Services provides home and commercial electrical services in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., where we are licensed and insured. Based in Bethesda, our team proudly serves all of Montgomery County. Receive a free consultation for custom electrical work today by calling (301) 941-1400.