|C. HOW WE CAN HELP
SENIORS THOUGH THE USE OF COLOR
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
- 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 ones 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 Auras, etc. (Part 2)
D. Recommendations for Further Reading (Part
Permission is granted to print or reproduce e-zine material if the following is
Author: Catherine Foust McGivern, NCIDQ Certified, Principal