A lightbulb moment!

  • techUK techUK
    Friday06Jul 2018
    Opinions

    Guest blog by Mike Hennessey, Corporate Director for Adult and Community Services, Suffolk County Council

A lightbulb moment!

Last summer, as I sat onboard a new Boeing 787 Dreamliner at 2am waiting to start a massively delayed flight I become somewhat frustrated with the rapidly changing illuminations in the aircraft. The crew, rather than demonstrating the usual emergency procedures, talked proudly of the fact that the aircraft has a lighting array with 1.8 million lighting combinations. Later, in the very wee small hours of the flight I asked a member of cabin crew what was the point of having 1.8 million lighting combinations? She told me they help create a more soothing and stress-free environment for passengers. She said it was designed to help people who may be a little bit disorientated on long flights orientate themselves and become calmer.

Now, leap forward a few months and I am sitting in the lounge of a care home talking to the owner and staff about the challenges they face. The care home is beautifully decorated with new furniture, new fittings and refurbished to a very high standard. It looks great, but it is very quiet, there are few residents. The owner tells me it is a constant challenge. It’s the biggest issue, recruiting and retaining staff to support residents with dementia. The worst of it are the significant variations in levels of activity. There are peak times, for example, when more staff are needed, but these are not easy to predict so it’s difficult to know when to roster extra people on. Creating the right environment can also be a challenge, different background music can help, but creating a relaxing environment which soothes anxious residents is a real challenge

As I looked around the room mulling over these challenges, I noticed the rather harsh lights and was reminded of the 1.8 million lighting combinations on the Boeing787. If lighting can be used to create a more pleasant calming and relaxing experience during flight could it play a part in care homes? For example, could it help people with dementia cope with the passage of the time of day or even the changing seasons by using pre-programmed lighting effects?

Technology in social care is part significant part of the future, where will the next new idea will come from? The use of lighting effects may have a small part to play in enhancing the lives of residents, but if it allows staff more time to invest in other elements of care it’s role could be significant. I think it’s certainly worth investigating. 

Share this

FROM SOCIAL MEDIA

Don't miss our flagship public services conference #techUKSmarterState 2019 on 18 September! Learn about the future… https://t.co/TPKdKkTc2V
Sabina Ciofu (@SabinaCiofu), techUK's Head of EU Policy, looks at what new European Commission President Ursula von… https://t.co/gUGsMN8MR2
Bookings are now open for #Supercharging 2019! Join us on 06 November in Manchester where we'll be looking at the i… https://t.co/XZzMPEexQn
@craigmelson Programme Manager for Digital Devices, Environment and Compliance and Consumer Electronics, discusses… https://t.co/dptyFfIATo
@coada Managing Director UK & Ireland @googlecloud discusses how a multi-cloud approach can help businesses to capt… https://t.co/RsvG7tKgbi
Guest blog: Sundip Bhatnagara from @AccentureUK discusses how to unlock the trapped value in cloud. Take a read her… https://t.co/JMzoFQjVcA
Guest blog: Chris Cook at @Garnet8Ltd discusses how cloud computing can act as an enabler to maximise the value of… https://t.co/XYdcO1SHGN
techUK's Associate Director of Policy, Giles Derrington (@G_Derrington), looks at the new report into the impacts o… https://t.co/dLpIsfYXQn
As we prepare to leave the EU, we must ensure that the future immigration system reflects the needs of UK businesse… https://t.co/nn0l710zWp
Become a Member
×

Become a techUK Member

By becoming a techUK member we will help you grow through:

Click here to learn more...