Vision loss requires a willingness to adapt to a new reality.
Changes are needed in your home to accommodate the loss of sight. The number and types of adaptations depend on the extent of the loss of vision. Losing part of your sight will mean fewer changes than a total loss of vision. Homes should be comfortable as adjustments are made to accommodate vision loss.
MAKING YOUR HOME SAFE
First eliminate common hazards. Clear walkways of items liable to cause a trip. Electrical cords should be out of the way. Find devices to help keep cords out of foot traffic. Tucking cords under furniture or covering with a rug is not a safe option.
Clear floor space. Stacks of books, shoes and clothing result in unsafe conditions. Keep purses and bags off the floor as their straps present a fall risk.
Close drawers and cabinet doors. Walking into one could cause a serious injury. When spilling liquids on the floor clean them up right away.. Glare caused by the sun or overhead lights makes it difficult to see with impaired vision.
Thermostat levels may be difficult to read. Mark usual settings with fluorescent tape if you do not have automatic settings.
LABELING AND ORGANIZING
Organize. You’ve heard the saying “A place for everything and everything in its place.” A well-organized home is a joy but with vision loss it is vital.
Frequently used items should be kept both on accessible levels and in convenient spaces. Store seldom used items in out-of-way spaces. Use storage boxes and bins and place similar items together. Label all boxes with their contents. Use large letters for easy identification.
Increasing light in the home is helpful for those experiencing vision loss. Higher wattage light bulbs or 3-way lighting is recommended by the American Federation for the Blind. Non-glare lighting is important as rooms are difficult to see when there is a glare. Illuminate spaces such as closets and cabinets. The marketplace has a variety of portable battery-operated options for such spaces.
Nightlights should be installed to provide light during the evening. Purchase automatic light fixtures to eliminate looking for power switches. Remember to have adequate lighting in all stairways.
CALLING IN THE PROFESSIONALS
Vision loss requires many coping skills. Adapting your home to accommodate level of vision may seem daunting but there is help.
Professionals are available to offer suggestions, help organize and adapt your home so it is safe, efficient and comfortable.
The American Foundation for the Blind maintains a national referral service and lists resources to find orientation and mobility specialists. These trained professionals assist those with impaired vision.
Bridge to Better Living® also guidance and compassion to those considering a transition to a Senior Living Community and understands the challenges clients may face. Contact Bridge to Better Living® now to begin your search.