How LED Landscape Lighting Can Help Seniors Avoid Slip-And-Fall Injuries

Southern Landscape Lighting Systems of Alpharetta, GA, designs, installs, and services residential and commercial low-voltage outdoor LED lighting systems in the metro Atlanta area. The team of professionals is dedicated to providing customers with everything they need without compromising aesthetics.

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A Heightened Awareness of a Growing Problem

“I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!” is an iconic catchphrase from a 1989 television commercial for a medical alert device worn as a pendant around the neck. Intended primarily for seniors and the physically disabled, the pendant enabled the victim suffering a medical emergency such as a fall to speak directly with a dispatcher who would alert 911 to send first responders to the victim’s location. The technology advanced over the years to include fall detection sensors and GPS location tracking capabilities.

Tens of millions of people watched the original commercial, and millions more have viewed the video on YouTube. Though not a public service announcement, the commercial brought widespread public awareness to the vulnerability of an aging population while highlighting the need to make the home and yard safe for seniors.

The Hard Facts about Injuries from Falls

The Centers for Disease Control sheds some light on the frequency, severity, and cost of fall injuries among seniors, reporting, “Falls are common and costly, especially among Americans age 65 and older. But falls are preventable and do not have to be an inevitable part of aging. Every second of every day, an older adult (age 65+) suffers a fall in the U.S.—making falls the leading cause of injury and injury death in this age group. One out of four older adults will fall each year in the United States, making falls a public health concern, particularly among the aging population…About 36 million falls are reported among older adults each year—resulting in more than 32,000 deaths. Each year, about 3 million older adults are treated in emergency departments for a fall injury. One out of every five falls causes an injury, such as broken bones or a head injury. Each year at least 300,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures. More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling—usually by falling sideways. Women fall more often than men and account for three-quarters of all hip fractures.”

A Beautiful Blend of Safety and Aesthetics: LED Landscape Lighting

Falls can be avoided and do not have to be an inevitable part of aging. With LED low-voltage landscape lighting, the hazards that contribute to trip-and-fall and slip-and-fall injuries can be minimized or eliminated.

One of the primary contributors to fall injuries is low vision among seniors. The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) notes, “Vision loss among the elderly is a major health care problem. Approximately one person in three has some form of vision-reducing eye disease by the age of 65.”

Listed below are tips to make the home and yard safe and beautiful for seniors using LED low-voltage landscape lighting.

Tip #1: Use path lights to illuminate walkways, paths, and trails.

A path light consists of a top hat that projects light downward to the ground, a post to which the top hat is attached, and a stake that secures the fixture in the ground. The walkway from the driveway to the front entrance can be treacherous if the lighting is inadequate to make changes in elevation or direction clearly visible. Path lighting can make the evening stroll along the backyard trail to the sitting area by the fountain easy and safe to maneuver.

Tip #2: Utilize tread lights to illuminate steps.

Tread lights can be installed into or on the riser of the step and direct light down onto each tread. These specialized fixtures make steps safer while at the same time creating atmosphere and warmth. Steps present a visual and physical challenge to the elderly. A combination of tread lights and rail lights ensures greater safety while enhancing the ambiance.

Tip #3: Install down lighting to illuminate a deck, patio, or sitting area.

Cast a soft splash of light onto the deck or outdoor grill. Make entertaining safe and pleasant for everyone, including aging parents or guests. Downlights are positioned high in a tree or affixed to an architectural feature of the home or nearby structure. Unlike floodlights, downlights focus a softer light on a specific area. Glare shields reduce or eliminate light pollution.

Tip #4: Avoid using solar lights when safety is a priority.

Solar lights have a lower light output and only burn for a few hours after dark. The batteries have a relatively short lifespan, and the fixtures lack durability. When the sun does not shine due to clouds or stormy weather, neither do the solar lights.

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Tip #5: Choose a lighting design and installation professional to create a safe and beautiful home and yard.

LED landscape lighting is flexible and can provide a wide range of brightness. The bulbs last up to 40,000 hours, use 1/5 of the energy needed for traditional halogen lighting, and burn at a much lower temperature.

A subtle adjustment or design update can enhance the safety of walkways, paths, steps, hardscapes, and outdoor living spaces without compromising aesthetics. The lighting experts at Southern Landscape Lighting Systems of Alpharetta offer a complimentary daytime consultation and provide an estimate that includes the number of fixtures, types of fixtures to be installed, and the price for the installation.

To learn more about Southern Landscape Lighting Systems of Alpharetta’s landscape lighting services, contact the team of lighting professionals by phone at (770) 691-1221 or email at [email protected].

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