How to Assist Seniors with Vision Problems

One of the worst losses associated with the natural aging process – along with mobility decline – is incurable vision impairment. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, nearly 4.2 million people over the age of 40 are visually impaired, 1.3 million of which are considered to be legally blind. While vision loss does set in as people enter the later stages of life, it can be difficult to adapt and rely on other senses such as smell, taste, and hearing that also weaken with age.

In this blog, we’ll share a few tips on how to assist seniors in dealing with vision problems.

Symptoms of Vision Loss

Vision loss is a gradual process that’s difficult to identify even by seniors themselves, which is why individuals over the age of 65 are recommended to visit their ophthalmologist once every year or two. This helps identify worsening eye conditions and take preventive steps to prevent further deterioration.Some symptoms of vision loss to look out for include:

  • Knocking over objects or bumping into things
  • Walking hesitantly
  • Falling
  • Squinting when trying to focus
  • Discontinuing activities such as reading or writing

Helping Seniors Adapt to Vision Changes

Eye diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts can significantly impact seniors’ functional abilities, reduce the quality of life, and even lead to depression. You should start off by learning as much as you can about these diseases. The following are a few ways to assist visually impaired seniors in retaining their independence.

Provide Sufficient Lighting

Keep the surroundings well-lit with the use of specialized bulbs that reduce glare and increase contrast. Cover reflective surfaces and provide proper lighting for all active areas that include places of reading, crafting, or playing cards. Under-the-counter lighting is good for places such as large work areas and kitchensand helps prevent trips and falls.

Adjust lighting according to the natural sunlight and avoid discrepancies that include bright lights in dark rooms.

Try to Minimize Falls

Place nightlights in bathrooms, bedrooms, and the hallways to prevent seniors from tripping or falling during the night. Remove hazards and eliminate clutter such as electrical cords and throw rugs. Consider relocating small or difficult to see items such as side tables, glass tables, and other similar types of furniture.

Go for Contrasting Colors

The contrast of bright and dark colors proves helpful for seniors that still have some vision left. Light-colored furniture and paint tend to blend in with each other making it difficult to discern between the furniture and the stairs, doorways, or other surrounding objects.

Even with vision impairments seniors tend to move around the home putting them at risk of serious injuries. AvantGarde Senior Living offers senior housing communities in Van Nuys, California that provides a safe and luxurious lifestyle under the supervision of trained and compassionate caregivers. Contact us today for more information.