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Vision Loss and those you love

Vision loss is one of the first signs of aging experienced by older adults – one in three people over the age of 65 experience some form of vision loss in their lifetimes.  Loss of vision is often accompanied by feelings of fear, anger, confusion, and even depression.  Adjusting to life with vision loss is difficult, no doubt, but it is also manageable. Your loved one can and will be able to persevere with the right support.

Vision Loss

taking the right steps

Many older adults associate loss of vision with loss of independence.  While your loved one’s life may change significantly as their vision degenerates, you can help them maintain their independence by making a few simple modifications to their home and routine.

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Vision Loss & Aging in Place

Recommended Products for vision loss

*Disclosure: We only recommend products based on our expertise in caring for aging adults. This site may contain affiliate links that (at no additional cost to you) we may earn an affiliate commission from. Read our full privacy policy here.

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Seeing Clearly

Navigating through Vision Loss

Helping your loved one modify, declutter, and organize their home can maximize their independence and allow them to live a happy, healthy life in the comfort of their own home.  

  • To reduce their risk of falling, rearrange your loved one’s furniture to widen their walkways.  
  • Install grab rails around the home to help your loved one better navigate their surroundings without tripping.
  • Use double-sided rug tape on the corners of any throw rugs to prevent your loved one from tripping and falling.
  • Clearly label everyday household items. Use organizers in cabinets and drawers to help your loved one easily find things they need. Place labeled baskets around the home for commonly used items like remotes, glasses, keys, etc.
  • Create tactile cues for your loved one on widely used items. Consider placing velcro on dials and buttons, or a specific number of rubber bands on canned goods to help your loved one differentiate between them in the cabinets.
  • Label switches and dials for your loved one in bold, bright lettering. 
  • Invest in a large-numbered phone for your loved one so they can call others independently. 
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Improving Visibility

While you may not be able to reverse the effects of aging and vision loss, you can improve visibility around your loved one’s home by making a few simple changes to their environment.  

  • Brighten up your loved one’s home by adding extra lamps around commonly used spaces and installing high-watt LED light bulbs into their fixtures. For additional support, consider installing voice-activated light bulbs if your loved one is struggling to find the light switch.
  • Utilize contrasting colors throughout the home – this will allow your loved one to see better-used items commonly. Consider using colorful hand towels that “pop” against their bathroom walls, or dark placemats on tables if they have light dishes.  
  • Highlight door knobs and handles with colorful tape or nail polish. 
  • Purchase large-print versions of your loved one’s favorite books to have around the home for them to read. If they’re more tech-savvy, consider purchasing large button phones and remotes so they can have access to their favorite devices.
  • Consider investing in magnifying devices for your loved one to keep around the home.

rise and shine

Improving Visibility

While you may not be able to reverse the effects of aging and vision loss, you can improve visibility around your loved one’s home by making a few simple changes to their environment.  

  • Brighten up your loved one’s home by adding extra lamps around commonly used spaces and installing high-watt LED light bulbs into their fixtures. For additional support, consider installing voice-activated light bulbs if your loved one is struggling to find the light switch.
  • Utilize contrasting colors throughout the home – this will allow your loved one to see better-used items commonly. Consider using colorful hand towels that “pop” against their bathroom walls, or dark placemats on tables if they have light dishes.  
  • Highlight door knobs and handles with colorful tape or nail polish. 
  • Purchase large-print versions of your loved one’s favorite books to have around the home for them to read. If they’re more tech-savvy, consider purchasing large button phones and remotes so they can have access to their favorite devices.
  • Consider investing in magnifying devices for your loved one to keep around the home.

Adaptive

Hygiene practices

Your loved one deserves to age with dignity.  You can ensure they maintain this by making small modifications to their hygiene routine.

  • Pour your loved one’s various hygiene products into different colored and shaped bottles and clearly label them to prevent confusion between identifying soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and lotions.
  • Add pumps to frequently used items like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and toothpaste tubes to disperse perfectly measured amounts of product.

Use non-slip mats in the bathroom to help your loved one stay safe as they bathe.

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precautions while

Out and About

Help your loved one access their community by working with them to identify the barriers their vision loss has created and plan solutions accordingly.  

  • Help your loved one create routes to their favorite destinations plotting easily identifiable “mile markers” along their path.  
  • Talk with your loved one about street safety – advise them to cross the street only at crosswalks with a “walk” light.
  • Help your loved one quickly identify bills in their wallet by folding each denomination differently.  
  • Teach your loved one how to use their cell phone and its GPS. Make sure they know how to use this before leaving home in the event of getting lost.
  • Invest in a pair of non-slip shoes for your loved one so they can move around safely.
  • If your loved one is still driving, encourage them to take a driving course for older adults to learn more about specific concerns they may have while driving. 

Vision loss can be a tough obstacle to navigate with your loved one. Staff at Beverly’s Daughter are dedicated to ensuring that you and your loved one have the support you need to manage this new challenge successfully. Talk with your trusted optometrist or primary care doctor about modifications you can make to your loved one’s home and have us look over it – we’ll send you a customized action plan within 48 hours that is tailored to your loved one’s unique needs. Let us help your loved one age gracefully.

Home Away From Home: Granny Flats

If you thought having your aging parent move into your house was the only alternative to expensive assisted livng facilities when they are no longer able to live independently, you may be the perfect candidate for an ADU, or Accessory Dwelling Unit.  ADUs are also sometimes referred to as granny flats or mother-in-law cottages.  These are small standalone units added to the backyard of an existing single family home, or apartments converted from extra space in the house such as a garage or basement. 

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Product Spotlight: Electronic Caregiver

Marybeth Van Horn, 67, a resident of Denver, Colorado and a nurse of 45 years, has both experienced and heard real-life stories of how health technology can save lives. Five years ago, she slipped on black ice in a parking lot, snapping her femur while mid-air. When she hit the pavement, her wrist broke and her lumbar and cervical vertebra shifted, leaving her on the ground in pain. The incident would leave her hospitalized for a month, and bedridden for three more months. At that time, she did not have Electronic Caregiver’s Premier system or she could have immediately called for emergency help.

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5 Easy Memory Reminders

Memory loss is a common side effect of aging, especially for those approaching the early stages of Dementia. This can be scary and stressful for our elders and their families, but it doesn’t have to mean the end of an independent lifestyle. Actually, by changing habits and introducing what our clinicians call “compensatory skills,” we can help elders avoid the common pitfalls of memory loss and continue to lead happy and healthy lives. I wanted to share a few of these skills, so all of you who are supporting your elders at home can help them thrive.

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