Light to treat dementia.

Home and care centre for the elderly embarks on anew route: leading to Zofingen.

Home and care centre for the elderly, Zofingen, Switzerland

Hospital Zofingen
Fugazza Steinmann Partner
Lighting design
Schachenmann + Co AG
The architectural design of the care centre makes it very clear that the facility is a separate entity – in contrast to the acute care hospital the patients require special care and their stay is expected to last longer. The lighting concept supports the multiple roles the elderly people’s home is expected to fulfil. Light is not only applied to underline the overall architectural concept. The prime objective was to enhance the patients’ feeling of well-being via intelligently controlled lighting, and provide light therapy treatment for the elderly and a dynamic lighting scenario for patients suffering from dementia, plus lighting for palliative care and for a nursery. This meant that different lighting concepts needed to be developed which together would result in a logical holistic result.

In order to measurably increase the feeling of well-being of visitors, patients and staff alike, changes in daylight during the course of the day are simulated using a lighting control system (dimmable, DALI, 2500K–4000K) and Solo LED luminaires specially developed by Regent. LED modules with two luminous colours mix the light and adjust the colour temperature and luminous intensity (Tunable White) to align with changing daylight conditions over the day. This supports the circadian rhythm and creates a pleasant atmosphere.

Special attention was paid to the “Snoezelenraum” – a controlled multisensory environment in which patients with dementia suffering from mental problems undergo therapy. The room needed to be equipped with different light sources and projectors which provide different kinds of visual effects plus a “colour hub” – comprising a rotating mirror ball mounted on the ceiling and sofas and beds to comfortably sit and lie on. The lighting effects serve to enhance sensory perception and help patients relax.

Whether inside or out – since the lighting was required to deliver flowing transitions between the spaces and clear consistency in spite of the different functions the rooms need to fulfil – the lighting concept encompasses an uncompromising solution using high-quality LED luminaires.