Did you know that senior adults are the majority of the visually impaired population in the United States? This is according to a recent National Eye Institute (NEI) report. Although low vision is common later in life, it can be challenging for the elderly to accept and acclimate as other senses weaken. Family caregivers must learn about the loved one’s visual impairment and the limitations associated with the condition. If you prefer a more hands-off approach, in-home care services are a great alternative to ensure the senior gets better treatment during this challenging stage in life.
Here are helpful tips to help seniors with low vision safely maintain independence.
Good Lighting is Crucial
Low vision means they are not technically blind, but poor lighting can worsen the situation. The best way to improve visibility is to use specialized bulbs or lamps to reduce glare and increase the contract. Additionally, covering reflective surfaces and providing appropriate lighting helps your loved ones engage in various tasks around the house. Many indoor lighting discrepancies can be avoided by consulting a reputable in-home care provider.
Minimize Fall Risks
If you have an older adult under your care, take the necessary steps to minimize fall risks. These include proper lighting in all the rooms and removing clutter and other hazards like electrical cords and rugs. Homes with short furniture lying around also pose a safety risk, as the senior may trip and fall, leading to injuries. Provide clear, wide, and level walking paths to guarantee safe navigation, but if the condition is more pronounced, consider professional help. Low vision can be disorienting before the person memorizes the layout, and that’s why assisted living is recommended to improve the quality of life.
Improve Household Organization
Nothing is more frustrating than the inability to find commonly used items in the house. The situation is dire for the elderly with poor vision. This can be improved by improving the organization of your household. Ensure most of these items are stored in easy-to-find areas, so they are easy to identify by all the household members, including senior loved ones with low vision. Household organization also goes a long way in helping the affected person adapt and persevere by handling most of the activities independently.
Consider Contrasting Colors
The contrast between dark and light colors makes daily tasks easier for someone with little vision. In most cases, the elderly with poor eyesight experience difficulty detecting stairs, doorways, and furniture, especially if they blend with the surroundings. While this is an effective way to make life easier for your loved one, look for lifestyle changes to determine if it is worse. As mentioned, the elderly lose most of their senses with age, and low vision can get worse. Therefore, hiring an in-home care service to help with daily activities, and rehabilitation is essential to prevent further decline.
Seniors constantly worry about how the loss of vision, and how will affect their ability to live independently. While professional care is still in the cards, it doesn’t have to happen immediately. These steps will help you improve the conditions of your older family member with low vision.
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