As stated by the National Federation of the Blind Fact Sheet, over 5.5 million elderly people are blind or visually disadvantaged in the U.S. With the large group of aging baby boomers, the amount of blind or visually impaired seniors will likely multiply. Nearly 99% of individuals who are blind have forfeited their vision because of glaucoma, macular degeneration, or diabetes. Low vision and blindness are substantial, expanding sections of the aging populace.
Taking care of an aging senior with vision disability requires good sense, forethought, and patience. The subsequent recommendations will help caregivers know what to concentrate on when it comes to taking care of seniors with little or no vision.
- Choose a suggested ophthalmologist who focuses on vision impairment/ low vision. Make routine visits for a dilated medical eye exam so they can appropriately diagnose and deal with eye conditions or diseases. Keep the ophthalmologist notified of any vision or eye changes.
- Develop a healthy lifestyle that consists of adequate sleep, exercise, and a healthy diet with plenty of fresh veggies and fruits and very little sweets and alcohol. Dark, leafy greens and healthy fats have nutrients that nurture the body and eyes.
- Identify what home customizations will be most useful and make them a priority. Eliminating worn or wrinkled carpet to avoid tripping is an essential primary step. When possible, replace with no-skid flooring. Keep furnishings out of pathways and keep chairs pushed in under the table. Set up grab bars in bathrooms, hallways, and for stairs. Additionally, check recommendations at the American Foundation for the Blind here.
- Eliminate any possible hazards and remove clutter. Small rugs and cords could be tripping hazards. Use baskets or bins to hold items that may be challenging to find if lost, such as keys and remote controls.
- Spaces with mismatching colors and good lighting are extremely important for people with low vision. Color contrasts between walls and furniture, and between walls and stairs can aid low vision seniors to determine the distinction. Using distinct colors in the bathroom also makes it easier to differentiate towels and bath mats.
- Ensure that your loved one can conveniently recognize various medications.
Choose at least one or more of these ideas to incorporate:
- Extra-large print tags
- Storage with tactile tags or stickers
- Unique medication dispensers provided at drug stores
- Prescription containers with recorded information labels
Ultimately, benefit from state and private rehabilitation solutions for the blind and visually impaired. These programs provide training on methods to manage independent lifestyles. The American Foundation for the Blind can really help you discover local solutions here.
If you have concerns about an elderly family member or loved one with impaired vision who wants to continue living independently, contact us toll-free: 877-513-7156, or visit www.QualityFamilyCare.com