Seniors with Vision Loss and How Caregivers Can Help
Seniors are prone to eye disorders, so exams are crucial. Problems develop painlessly & have no symptoms & individuals may not notice changes in their vision.
Seniors and Vision Loss: How to Adapt to Changes in Sight
The importance of sight exams
Getting an annual eye exam is important for people of all ages, but especially for older individuals. Senior citizens are more prone to eye disorders such as glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration than younger people. Early detection is critical with these three diseases. Age-related eye problems can develop painlessly and have no early symptoms. Individuals may not even experience changes in their vision until the condition has become more advanced. Annual eye exams help seniors keep regular tabs on their eye and overall health. Eye exams can also uncover other potential health problems such as artery blockages, hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes. (www.vsp.com)
Age-related vision changes that affect seniors’ ability to drive:
• Not being able to clearly see road signs
• Difficulty seeing objects up close, like the car instrument panel or road maps
• Difficulty judging distances and speed
• Changes in color perception
• Problems seeing at night or in low light
• Difficulty adapting to bright sunlight or glare from headlights
• Experiencing a loss of side vision
Loss of vision can impact all areas of one’s life, including day-to-day activities and personal hygiene. There are things caregivers can do to help seniors who have experienced vision loss.
Mark their toothbrush with a tactile or contrasting-colored tag so it’s easily distinguishable.
Move hygiene products to pump packs that squeeze out pre-measured amounts.
Put shampoo and conditioner in different colored or shaped bottles so they are easy to identify.
How loss of sight can be dangerous
• Be careful when cleaning the house. Cords, wet floors and a mop and bucket are all potential hazards they could trip or slip over.
• Shut doors completely or leave them fully open. A half open door is a hazard.
• Replace light bulbs to provide them with good lighting in all the rooms, staircases, closets and hallways.
• Declutter their home and help them dispose of items that are no longer meaningful or necessary.
• Have grab bars installed in stairways and bathrooms.
Home Care Tip:
Accountability can be a great way for seniors to stay on target. Pair them up with a friend or neighbor who is committed to healthy lifestyle habits as well so they can keep each other accountable.