One of the ailments faced by seniors as they age is failing eyesight. Seventeen percent of people over the age of 65 are either blind or have low vision. This affects nearly 14 million people in the United States. Although low vision can hinder seniors from completing everyday tasks, with home care seniors can still lead productive lives.
What is low vision?
Low vision is a condition of the eye where all or parts of one’s vision is compromised. Specifically, low vision is measured at 20/70 or worse, where 20/20 is considered perfect vision. While it is not total blindness, those with low vision experience tunnel vision, where the eye tends to focus on a particular object or line of sight; or blind spots, which are places in the eye where the view is obstructed. Low vision is caused by certain eye conditions or diseases such as:
- Cataract – a condition where the eye lens becomes opaque and vision is blurred
- Glaucoma – a condition where pressure within the eyeball in increases leading to loss of vision
- Light sensitivity – an intolerance to bright lights such as sunlight or fluorescent light bulbs
- Macular degeneration – a condition effecting the retina causing distortion or loss of vision
- Stroke – poor circulation to veins in the eye cause loss of vision
The effect of low vision on seniors
For seniors, the effects of low vision can be both physical and mental. While seniors with low vision still have some sight, as their vision erodes, household duties or daily activities taken for granted, such as reading, cooking, and driving, all become more difficult and possibly dangerous. Furthermore, some seniors experience problems recognizing faces or differentiating between colors. The effects of low vision can cause frustration and even depression in seniors, who may feel isolated from their world because of the inability to complete simple activities. The loss of independence brought about by low vision can be challenging.
Combating the effects of low vision with home care
Although seniors with low vision may experience troubles with daily tasks, a home care professional can help to maintain their standard of living. Based on the senior’s level of vision, home care professionals can:
- Cook meals and clean the home for the senior or aid them in doing so to promote independence.
- Color coordinate clothing, using labels to section off colors.
- Drive the senior to the grocery, to meet friends, etc. so the senior can remain active and connected.
- Listen to the senior’s favorite genre of music.
- Reading the newspaper or a book aloud to the senior
Home care providers can also work on tactile arts and craft projects, or play games using larger sized playing cards, dominos, and the like with seniors with vision needs. Although low vision can be a source of frustration for seniors, home care professionals can provide much needed aid to keep seniors enjoying active and healthy lives.
Kellogg Eye Center – https://www.umkelloggeye.org/conditions-treatments/lowvision
Daily Caring – https://dailycaring.com/9-activities-for-low-vision-seniors-with-alzheimers-or-dementia/
All About Vision – https://www.allaboutvision.com/lowvision/overview.htm
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE IS CONSIDERING HOME CARE IN SUMMERLIN, NV, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE OF SUMMERLIN. 702-800-4616.