Helping seniors with vision problems

As we age, our vision begins to go. It can be gradual at first, and then begins to worsen over time. This can be a very frustrating sensation! No matter how you spin it, our vision ability affects our everyday life in huge ways. It can even cause Seniors to cease participating in activities that they once enjoyed, or become subdued and isolated around friends because they can’t contribute to conversation about “sights” as they once could. Driving, walking, bike riding, and even exercising are much more difficult than they once were, and it can be easy for an elderly loved one to just quit travelling and exercising altogether, rather than bother with the challenge or the insecurity of trying to cope with vision loss.

Some conditions that commonly afflict seniors include:diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and macular degeneration.

Glaucoma is a condition that “affects side vision and the ability to detect objects outside the field of vision. The second leading cause of irreversible blindness in the USA is glaucoma.”

As glaucoma worsens, vision can eventually be fully lost.

Risk Factors Includehigh intraocular pressure, aging, family history, race, diabetes, hypertension, eye injury or surgery, history of steroid uses, and migraine headaches with peripheral vasospasm.”

What can you do to help?

If your loved one has one of these conditions, or their vision is declining in general, there are several things you can do to help! Adjusting lighting, curtains, and glares evident in the home is important. Carefully illuminate parts of the house where your loved one might trip or have trouble such as: hallways, stairs and closets. Outside lights are a must for when your loved one returns home at twilight and needs to find the doorknob!

Contrast is helpful when vision declines. Bright tape on stairs can help contrast the dark wood or carpet that might begin to blur together. Painting door trim a different color than the walls can also help!

Magnifying glasses have been around for years, helping the vision-impaired still enjoy reading and gazing at their favorite photos.

Health & Nutrition

There are preventative and reactive measures you can take to ensure that the nutrition you and your loved one are intaking helps rather than harms vision.

“Recent studies have found that those who eat large amounts of certain carbohydrates that cause blood sugar levels to rise and then fall rapidly may have a greater chance of developing central vision loss as they age.”

Some examples of these types foods are:

  • White Bread
  • Rice
  • Potatoes
  • Pasta
  • Sugar & Corn Syrup

On the other hand, foods rich in antioxidants have been also found to help preventvision loss, and these include:

  • Whole Grains
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Dairy
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Citrus
  • Green Peppers
  • Broccoli

Eating food from this group can help anyone’s vision in the long run!

Source:

http://www.visionaware.org/info/for-seniors/retirement-living/help-for-seniors-with-vision-loss-tips-for-assisted-living-staff-members/125

 

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