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How To Support An Older Adult With Impaired Vision

Updated: Jul 28, 2022

Whether it’s an aging parent, relative, or loved one, finding ways to support a senior in your life with compromised vision can be difficult to navigate.

Declining vision in older adults can be a normal part of the aging process, but more severe impairments can be caused by cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, or diabetic retinopathy, among other conditions. Vision loss can make a challenge out of certain simple daily activities, limit the person’s ability to perform previously enjoyable tasks, and even pose a serious risk of falling or other injuries.

This week, our team has compiled a list of ideas to incorporate into supporting an older person in your life who’s facing problems with their vision:

  • Help them navigate hiring professional help.

Depending on the severity of the impairment, the situation may call for more than a doctor’s appointment. Geriatric care management companies, such as Senior Steps, provide excellent support when it comes to scheduling the right appointments with the right specialists, including referrals to expert vision specialists, visual aid resources, and education on proper use and care.

  • Help them organize and declutter their space.

Whether you do it yourself or go online to help them find a specialized service, it’s important to ensure a clear, predictable, and functional path throughout the senior’s living space to eliminate tripping hazards. An organized home will also help them easily find items on their shelves and in their drawers and cupboards even if they have a hard time reading labels. At Senior Steps, we work with companies specializing in making a senior's home safe and functional according to their needs and abilities.

  • Mark unclearable tripping hazards with contrast tape.

For people with more severe vision loss, it may be necessary to mark elements like uneven floors, stairs, walls, and low cupboards with easy-to-see tape in a contrasting color to avoid accidents due to blurry vision. And roll up those area rugs!

  • Help them set up voice-activated commands.

Setting up smart lights, AC, blinds, and more, and teaching seniors how to use voice commands to navigate their television, make a call, or play some music can be tremendously helpful in allowing them to continue to perform some of their simpler activities.

  • Share activities that don’t entail a visual element.

Spend some quality time together listening to their favorite music, introduce them to a podcast they would enjoy, take a walk in nature together on an even, obstacle-free path, bring your pet over to play with them, or play a game together. If they enjoy card games, board games, or chess or checkers, you can pick up a special version with larger pieces made specifically for folks with impaired vision.

For help navigating situations related to senior caregiving, you can give our team a call for a FREE consultation and learn about our services pertaining to managing healthcare, financial and legal matters, and family relationships. Please leave us a comment if this article was helpful to you or someone you know or if you would like to suggest a topic for our next blog post. We look forward to hearing from you!

Written by Layla Adawieh

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