Visual functioning and light conditions for visual comfort in care facilities for older adults.

Post-doctoral researcher: M.M. Sinoo (Marianne)

Supervisor: prof. dr. H.S.M. Kort
Chair research belongs to: Building Healthy Environments for Future Users


In the program ‘creating healthy environments’  research is done on visual functioning and light conditions in long term care facilities. In the Netherlands, the highest prevalence ( > 40 %) of visual impairment is found in the subgroup of residents of nursing homes and long term care facilities. These impairments are limiting to the daily activities and participation in social activities of older adults. Research of light conditions in relation to health is one aspect of building physics and frequently investigated in different age groups. Light conditions influence daily activity and the biological clock in older adults with dementia. This PhD project aims to investigate aspects of visual comfort in the nursing home. The framework of this study is the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF). The model provides an overview of various aspects of health conditions in terms of the influencing activities of biological, personal, environmental, and social factors. The goal of this project is to analyze the visual impairments of nursing home residents,  the quality of light conditions of the nursing homes, the role of care professionals in assessing and recording visual impairments,  and their awareness of related environmental aspects. Light conditions in Dutch nursing homes were assessed in terms of horizontal and vertical illuminances and colour temperature. The measurements include the contribution area of daylight and reflect the light situation as encountered at the moment of observation. In the nursing homes, 259 residents underwent an optometric examination, and their client records were analysed for information regarding visual functioning. The optometric examinations and recorded visual problems were combined with illuminance data. Furthermore a digital online survey was developed to describe the eye care activities of nursing home physicians, and an observation tool for the indoor visual environment was developed and tested on content validity.