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You are here > Color And Psychology: Part 3

Since the population is living longer, more of us will likely be welcoming senior relatives into our homes. We can use the following to assist them as they stay in their homes, or come visits. (I apologize if I am offending anyone by using the term elderly and senior interchangably.) Here is what I learned.

Most elderly have reduced vision. Therefore, they need an environment that outlines and demarcates objects. This can be accomplished by:
- Selecting light backgrounds, i.e.: walls and floors, to work with contrasting (darker) furnishings, bedspreads, wall switches, towels, etc. Light walls are best, because they reflect light without glare.
- Using flooring materials without strong patterns. Patterns on the floor cause confusion and spatial misjudgment for older individuals.
- Installing light colored Kitchen work surfaces. Most foods are dark, and will show up better against a contrasting background.
- Using contrasting colors on the edges of furnishings (i.e.: piping), stairs, and grab bars.
- Selecting light, opaque, lampshades to help eliminate glare.( Ross-Simons Lamp Collection )
- Purchasing appliances and telephones which large colorful letters and numbers.
- Place a contrasting strip of color on the first and last step, to aid in determining the beginning and the end, of a flight stairs.
- The later years of our life are a time when we may need or want to be in greater touch with our spirituality. Colors that are spiritual in nature are in the purple family, such as lavenders, mauves, and violets. Blues also promote a connection with one’s higher self, a sense of peace and intuition. But, colors in there families must be chosen carefully. Too much of these tones may promote an elderly individual to feel depressed, withdraw, and cope less effectively with everyday life.
- Often, an elderly person suffers the loss of a loved one, promoting fear and loneliness. Under these circumstances, the introduction of loving, supportive colors (which were listed in the first part of the article) may prove helpful.

A. General Information About the Psychology of Color and Interiors (Part 1)
B. Interior Design Philosophies and Color Psychology: Feng Shui, and Aura’s, etc. (Part 2)
D. Recommendations for Further Reading (Part 4)

Permission is granted to print or reproduce e-zine material if the following is included:
Author: Catherine Foust McGivern, NCIDQ Certified, Principal
CatherineMcGivern.com, http://www.CatherineMcGivern.com

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