How to Help Seniors with Vision Problems

How to Help Seniors with Vision Problems

How to Help Seniors with Vision Problems

Visual impairment is a common issue affecting millions of people living with some form of it. Seniors with vision problems must adapt to this loss while also experiencing a decline in other senses, like hearing and smell. Caregivers, however, can improve the quality of life of seniors with vision issues.

The National Eye Institute (NEI) reports that the older population represents the most cases of vision impairment in the United States. Vision problems are more likely to occur as people age. Sometimes only a different eyeglasses prescription is needed. Others may develop serious eye-related conditions.

How does vision change with age?

Vision changes may require seniors to obtain new prescriptions for eyeglasses to see clearly at a distance, close-up, or both. They may rely on reading glasses to read books or magazines. Older people are also likely to need more light as they read.

Older adults’ need for more light is caused by their pupils naturally losing the ability to adjust in size quickly with lighting changes. Besides requiring more light to read, seniors may have difficulty driving at night; the glare of oncoming headlights and other bright lights are bothersome.

Cataracts is another condition that is prevalent in the senior population. Vision becomes blurry as cloudy formations develop in the lens of the eye. A loss of peripheral vision is also common as their visual field narrows and they turn their heads more to see, such as while driving.

Eye conditions also lead to vision problems. Glaucoma develops when the back of the eye no longer drains fluid properly, leading to the build-up of pressure. This can cause a loss of peripheral vision and damage to the optic nerve.

Chronic diseases, like diabetes, are responsible for vision problems in the elderly. In aging diabetic patients, the blood vessels in the retina gradually break down, which results in vision loss. Age-related macular degeneration causes damage to the macula, leading to a loss of central vision.

How do caregivers help seniors with vision issues?

1. Provide Transportation

Vision loss affects an older person’s ability to drive. Seniors may take public transportation instead of driving. Other options include utilizing transportation services provided by local home care agencies, getting rides from family or friends, or using ride sharing services.

2. Keep Up with Eye Exams

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that people aged 65 and over undergo an eye exam with dilation every one or two years. The ophthalmologist checks the overall health of the eyes. Optimal eye health can be maintained by using a current prescription for eyeglasses or contacts.

3. Look for Signs of Vision Issues

Since vision loss occurs gradually, seniors may be unaware of changes to their eyesight. Caregivers, however, can watch for signs of compromised vision in their care recipient: squinting when trying to focus, discontinuing reading, bumping into objects, falling, or walking hesitantly.

4. Increase Lighting

The senior’s home should remain well-lit. Be certain, however, to avoid glare. Clip-on lamps and other forms of direct lighting are best for specific tasks, like reading, knitting, or doing puzzles. Install under-counter lighting to illuminate the kitchen workspace. Fit halls and stairs with good lighting, too.

5. Minimize Fall Risks

Poor vision can lead to falls, especially at night. Reduce this risk by plugging in nightlights in the bathrooms and the hallways leading up to them. Replace difficult-to-see furniture, such as glass tables. Reposition the furniture to give the senior a clear path to navigate.

6. Designate Areas

Caregivers can designate spots for heavily used items, like remote controls or purses, which helps seniors know where they are kept. Return these objects to the same place every time. Place rubber bands or raised dots on items so the senior identifies them using both tactile and visual senses.

7. Use Contrasting Colors

Household items that are similar in color are difficult to differentiate. Contrasting colors, however, are easily distinguishable for seniors with some remaining vision. Promote safety by providing a dark cutting board for slicing onions, for instance, and a light board for cutting oranges.

8. Attend Vision Rehabilitation Programs

Visually impaired seniors can visit a low vision specialist to help with mobility training and household organization methods that simplify finding items. These professionals advise on where to find low vision aids and provide instructions on use. Many rehab programs help seniors cope with the depression that follows vision loss.

9. Offer Moral Support

Vision problems can lead to anxiety or depression in affected seniors. Relaxation techniques relieve anxiety. Older adults can listen to similar stories of vision loss and learn coping strategies by joining a support group. Seniors should remain connected with friends and continue enjoyable hobbies, too.

When vision problems arise, family caregivers are encouraged to assist their aging loved one with activities to boost their confidence. But some families are too busy to be a constant source of help. In these situations, Assisting Hands Home Care offers the support seniors need.

Senior Home Care Agency Serving Plano, Frisco, and the Surrounding Areas

Senior Home Care Agency in Plano Texas

Our senior home care agency provides a comprehensive range of non-medical services designed to give older adults the opportunity to live independently at home. Whether they suffer from vision problems or any other health condition, our professional caregivers provide reliable help with daily activities.

Responsibilities include discreet support with personal hygiene tasks, like bathing and toileting. We prepare nutritious meals, shop for fresh groceries, and give timely medication reminders. Transportation and escort to the eye doctor, physician’s office, or other local destinations are included.

Our licensed, bonded, and insured caregivers serve as pleasant companions who take seniors on outings, encourage them to pursue hobbies, play stimulating games, and hold conversations. Your aging loved one receives all-around support in the comfort of home, which increases their quality of life.

Seniors living in Frisco, TX | Plano, TX | Allen, TX | Little Elm, TX | Prosper, TX, Texas, thrive with compassionate in-home support from Assisting Hands Home Care. Caregivers create a safe, comfortable home environment for your loved one. Call us today at (214) 609-1340 to schedule an in-home consult, and we’ll develop a customized elder care plan to meet care needs.