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Caregiver Tips: How to Help Seniors with Vision Loss

Elder man having an eye exam

Seniors are prone to eye disorders, so exams are crucial. Vision loss develops painlessly and has no outward symptoms. Because changes occur gradually, seniors may not notice changes in their vision.

Seniors and Vision Loss: Adapting 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, which will help reduce the need for in-home care or elderly care later in life. Eye exams can also uncover other potential health problems such as artery blockages, hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

(www.vsp.com)

 

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2.8 million seniors are thought to have severe vision impairment—defined as either blindness or difficulty seeing, even with eyeglasses.

How Vision Changes Affect Seniors’ Ability to Drive:

Age-related vision changes and eye diseases can negatively affect driving abilities even before any symptoms are noticed by the senior.

Infographic Vision Loss and HygieneHow Vision Changes Impact Driving Abilities

  • Not being able to see road signs clearly
  • 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

(www.aoa.org)

How Vision Changes Can Be Dangerous

Vision loss can be dangerous for seniors and can affect other areas of their life. The CDC estimates that about 1.3 million older, vision-challenged Americans fell at least once in 2014. Since falling is among the leading injuries sending seniors to the hospital, preventing falls is critical.

Vision loss can be dangerous for seniors and can affect other areas of their life. The CDC estimates that about 1.3 million older, vision-challenged Americans fell at least once in 2014. Since falling is among the leading injuries sending seniors to the hospital, preventing falls is critical.

Preventing Falls When Caring for Seniors with Low Vision or Blindness

  • In their home, leave things as you found them. If something must be moved, show them where it has been moved.
  • Be careful when cleaning the house. Cords, wet floors and a mop and bucket are all potential slip or trip hazards.
  • 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.

Be sure to follow all of these in-home care tips to prevent falls!

 

Caring for the caregiver, in home careHome Care Tips:

Show family members and seniors potentially hazardous obstacles around the home; such as a throw rug or cables on the floor, which could cause them to trip and fall.

 

For more tips on potential hazards in the home, feel free to contact Caregivers by WholeCare. We are happy to help in any way we can.

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