With an aging population that is growing substantially, the number of elderly people living alone with low vision is also seeing rapid growth. These are individuals who have either lost their vision due to an injury or illness, or had their vision deteriorate with age, and they do not want to have their condition limit their independence. These people should be able to live happy and independent lives, but it is crucial that they take the necessary steps to avoid putting themselves in danger due to their low vision.
The primary concern for those living with low vision is that falling or tripping will cause a serious injury. Due to their limited sight, simple tasks such as navigating through their home or walking up or down a flight of stairs suddenly become a risk. If the individual does not have the proper support system, living alone with limited sight can become very frustrating and isolating, leading to mental health problems such as depression. Fortunately, there are small steps that can be taken to help these individuals function more freely and safely within their home.
Below are a few tips for living alone with low vision:
Have proper lighting – With low vision, the entire world can feel a bit dimmer. To correct this issue, all of the areas of the home that are used most frequently should have great lighting. Good overall lighting throughout the entire house will make the space more enjoyable as well as safer. There should be increased lighting in areas such as the kitchen, where there is a need to see in greater detail. Night-lights spread throughout the house, and especially on staircases can also be good safety precautions.
Color coordination – Color contrast is a great way to help individuals with limited sight identify objects. To make stairs safer, it can help to put a strip of brightly colored tape at the edge of each stair. To make sure hard to read medication bottles are not confused with one another, they can be assigned their own brightly colored and distinct label. When preparing foods, purchase a cutting board that is light on one side and dark on the other. By placing light colored foods on the dark side and vice versa, it becomes easier to distinguish shapes and outlines, making it easier to slice foods with lower risk of injury.
Organize the home and eliminate clutter – Cleaning a house can be a great way to not only lift your spirits, but also increase functionality and safety. By removing any clutter from rooms and walkways, it becomes easier to navigate through the home with a much lower risk of tripping and falling. Another advantage of a good cleaning is that you can assign a specific place for all of your belongings, making it much easier to stay neat and tidy, and making it easier to find the item when you need it again.
Living a life with low vision is a difficult challenge, but it is possible to find ways to make the process much more feasible and enjoyable.