The Best Ways to Help Your Parent Cope with Low Vision throughout the Home
Low vision is an extremely common issue among elderly adults. For some the condition develops so gradually that they are not even fully aware that it is happening until there is a serious incident such as a fall or other emergency. Finding ways to create meaningful modifications throughout the home and offer helpful aids to cope with this low vision can keep your parent enjoying their independence as much as possible while staying safe and secure.
Some ways that you can help your parent cope with low vision include:
- Additional lighting. Adding extra lighting throughout the home can help your parent see more clearly, preventing trips, falls, slips, and running into objects. Ensure that the lightbulbs throughout the home are bright and position lighting sources so that they overlap. This will reduce the risk of shadows that can play tricks on the eyes of a senior who is suffering from low vision. Be sure that there is adequate lighting on the outside of the house so that your parent can safely traverse steps and walkways in the evening or at night.
- Glowing paint. Moving through even a familiar home with low vision can be treacherous for a senior. Most people do not like turning on lights when they are moving through the home at night, such as if they need to use the restroom or they want to get a drink of water. This, however, can cause your parent to fall. Glow in the dark paint allows you to mark potentially hazardous areas throughout the home to make them more visible to your parent. Add paint to the front of stairs, to corners of walls, or to pieces of furniture that protrude into the room. You can also add it to light switches so that they are more easily visible if your parent does want to turn on a light to guide them through the home.
- Magnifiers. Just because your parent is coping with low vision does not mean that they have to do without their favorite activities such as reading or using a computer. Encourage your parent to use a magnifier to make objects appear larger. Some of these even include integrated light sources so that your parent can both magnify and illuminate their book, puzzle, craft, or other task to make it easier to see.
- Backlit keyboards. If your parent enjoys using the computer to keep up with friends and family, do research, or play games, but is not completely comfortable with typing, low vision can keep them from using the keyboard effectively. A backlit keyboard uses fluorescent lighting embedded in the keyboard to make the keys more easily visible for your aging parent.
Low vision does not have to diminish your parent’s quality of life. Simple modifications and tools can make it possible for your parent to continue to enjoy an active, fulfilling quality of life with you or with the help of an elder care provider.