There are a multitude of diseases that can affect an aging person’s eyesight. Glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy are just a few of the common ailments that can lead to vision loss. The progression of many can be halted if diagnosed early. Unfortunately, once damage has occurred, it may be difficult or impossible to reverse. There are, however, solutions—options available to your parent that can help them retain their independence and feel safe in their home.
Help for your Parent
Your parent is not alone. According to the Longitudinal Prevalence of Major Eye Disease research, almost 7 million Americans over the age of 65 have severe visual impairment.
If your loved one has diminished ability to read fine print, even with corrective lenses, there are alternatives. A low vision specialist may be able to offer solutions that can include magnifiers and lighting. There are audio-books as well as magazines. The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped offer loaned-material for free. You can find this site at: http://www.loc.gov/nls/.
For those with only slight vision impairment, many libraries offer large print books. Games such as checkers and chess have been adapted for the visually impaired. Electronic equipment with large buttons is available for often-used items such as the TV remote control or the telephone.
One of the most important tasks you can undertake to help your parent is to adapt their home and make sure it is a safe environment for them. The American Foundation for the Blind has a checklist that helps to ensure all the bases have been covered. You can find that at: http://www.afb.org/info/friends-and-family/help-for-an-older-relative/home-survey-checklist/235
A few of the key components are as follows:
Lighting. Make sure your parent has good lighting throughout the house. Consider motion sensor lighting in specified locations. Put lamps in places where they work and read, and make sure they have ample lampshades to prevent glare. Install mini-blinds to reduce daytime glare. Use nightlights in bedroom and bathrooms.
Hazards. Reduce slipping and tripping hazards by eliminating throw rugs and ensuring furniture is not acting as an obstacle. Reduce clutter and install grab bars in appropriate places such as the shower and by the toilet.
Color Contrasts. Contrasting colors can help on the edges of stairs, on door handles and on switch plates. Wherever your parent could be helped by bringing an object out to the forefront.
Elderly Home Care Provider
There is nothing that can really take the place of a physical presence–a person that can step in and help out when challenges arise. An elderly home care provider can assist your parent when needed while still allowing them to maintain a sense of independence. They can prepare eye-healthy meals and then share them with your parent. Establishing a sense of camaraderie and companionship is a vital part of their services and one that becomes increasingly important as your parent ages.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Estero FL, call the caring staff at Dial-a-Nurse today. Naples: (239) 307-0033. Ft. Myers: (239) 307-0065.
In 1995 he became Administrator of Dial-a-Nurse nursing agency, the oldest nursing agency in the Southwest Florida succeeding his mother who started the company 37 years ago. He is also President of Nevco, Inc., an educational healthcare training company begun in 1988.
Mr. Wolfendale has worked with the U.S. Department of Commerce on various Missions to improve the quality of life around the world by development of supportive healthcare programs. In 2005 he traveled with U.S. officials and addressed the Italian National Government assisting in the creation of Nurse Education mandates for that Country. In 2006 he was invited and spoke with the National Institutes of Continuing Education in Eastern Europe on healthcare education and developmental mandates, and most recently represented the United States at the European Union in Lake Balaton, Hungary in 2011. In 2014 he traveled with the U.S. Department of State to Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam in an effort to improve caregiver knowledge and training.
Mr. Wolfendale has worked with a number of non-profits in contributing and creating curriculum to improve the quality of life in third-world countries since 2001, and notably created a successful program in Odessa, India that has been modeled in other areas of the world. In his backyard, he has worked with local Goodwill Industries to provide curriculum and training to underserved individuals who have obtained employment as a result of educational training. He was the Congressional appointment to the Governor's purple ribbon task force in 2013, and has worked to educate caregivers in all aspects of Alzheimer's training.