Monday, January 12, 2015

Modifications to Help your Senior Cope with Vision Problems

If your aging parent struggles with vision problems, it can make daily activities more challenging. They may have difficulty reading directions, finding items, staying organized, navigating around the home, and carrying out other functions. Trouble seeing can also pose a safety risk if they are living alone. Making some modifications around the home can help them to feel more confident and comfortable as well as improve safety.

  • Improved Lighting

Replace any burnt out lightbulbs with fresh ones and consider adding additional lighting in hallways, staircases, bathrooms, and other poorly lit areas. This can make navigating easier. Installing reading lights can also be beneficial for when your senior is reading, doing puzzles, or writing.

  • De-Clutter

Make sure that walkways are clear so that there is reduced risk of tripping or stumbling. Remove clutter from the floor and countertops and return things to their proper place. This can make them easier to find later and reduce confusion. Tuck cords away and ensure that rugs, carpets, and tiles do not have curled edges that can lead to falls.

  • Buy Large Print Materials

Sometimes something as simple as large print books or remotes can be beneficial. The bigger letters and numbers are easier to see and can decrease frustration. Your senior can continue to enjoy these activities on their own with less stress. A magnifying glass can also help when large print items are not available. Make sure when leaving notes or instructions that they are written in dark in and larger script.

  • Create Contrast with Colors

Add colored tape to the handles or borders of objects to make them easier to see and identify. Combine dark and light colors for more visible variation, such as a dark colored pillow or blanket on a white bedspread, or laying a dark towel over the side of the white bathtub. Try to avoid highly patterned materials for tablecloths, placemats, rugs, and decorations. Stick with things that are more simple and easier on the eyes. This can make it easier for your senior to find things. Use reflective or colored tape at the edge of stairs to make them stand out more.

Pay attention to things that your senior seems to struggle with and look for creative ways to make these tasks easier. Oftentimes there are relatively simple solutions. If you do find that they need more assistance, consider the services of an in-home care company or assisted living community. These professionals can help to provide a safer environment and support your senior as necessary with various tasks while still allowing them to be as independent as possible. Vision problems do not have to stand in the way of your loved one continuing to do the things they enjoy and taking care of themselves.

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