Community Blog

Caring for the Eyes of the Elderly

By Erin Carll

Elder Care in Wexford PA

Many diseases that affect the eyes have no early symptoms. Macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy can produce significant damage before the first signs appear. If these or other diseases have left your loved one with permanent vision loss, there are steps you can take to help them maintain their independence.

Low Vision Rehabilitative Services

This service offers classes that are designed to teach people with limited vision various techniques that can help them with the daily activities of living. They instruct your loved one how to use their remaining vision more effectively. They can assess the environment for safety and recommended necessary changes. Google: ‘low vision rehabilitative services’ to find these types of businesses in your area.

Environmental Changes

Making a few adjustments to your loved one’s surroundings can help them adapt. Improve lighting by providing plenty of floor and table lamps and placing mirrors so that lighting does not reflect off of them. Use adjustable blinds on windows to allow for natural light. Keep some chairs near the window to create a place for your loved one to access this natural light to work or read by. Eliminate hazards and avoid floor coverings with patterns that have a tendency to create confusion. Use contrasting color for doorknobs, door frames and the edges of steps. Make things bigger—these days, telephones, remote controls, books, keyboards and even crosswords come in “bigger” sizes for those with vision problems. Low-vision magnifiers are also handy to have around the house.

Talking Gadgets

For those that can no longer read, audiobooks and electronic books can take the place of paper back. Electronic readers such as the Kindle and iPad have text-to-speech capability, as well as the option of adjusting font size and lighting. There are also a variety of apps designed for Smartphones and tablets that aid those with impaired vision.

  • Adriandne GPS—a talking map.
  • LookTel Money Reader—Uses the camera on the iPhone to check currency and announces denomination.
  • Color ID Free—also uses the camera on the iPhone, this time, to tell the user what color the photographed item is.
  • Talking watches, clocks and computers are available to help your loved one in relation to time, date and accessing the internet.

Elder Care Providers

While all these tools and services provide invaluable aid in helping a senor with impaired vision, nothing really takes the place of another set of eyes to watch over them. If you find yourself concerned about your loved one when you’re not present, consider acquiring the help of an elder care provider. They assist with the daily activities of living including light housekeeping, meal preparation and daily hygiene, provide transportation and, just as important, can make sure your parent is safe and cared for when you’re not there.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring in-home elder care in Wexford, PA, please call the caring staff at Home Helpers. Call today (412) 201-0712.