New Jersey Senior Health
One of the most devastating physical problems associated with old age is the loss of vision due to such conditions as macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma. Here are some things to consider that can reduce the likelihood of this leading to problems in the home:
- Get rid of anything your elderly loved one could trip on, such as coffee tables, toys on the floor, throw rugs.
- Make sure there are clear pathways within and to each room.
- Paint doors and trim a color that contrasts with the wall colors, so they will stand out more. Do the same with banisters.
- Put yellow strips on the edge of each step and also at the beginning and end of ramps.
- Install grab bars for the tub and shower.
- Ask your senior and let him or her tell you what kinds of help, if any, would be appreciated.
- Try to be as understanding as possible during the adjustment period, during which anger and frustration may be forthcoming.
- 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. Examples of these foods are: white bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, sugar and corn syrup.
- Encourage your senior to join a support group, where others in the same situation share their feelings about and strategies to cope with vision loss.
- Inspire your senior to participate in vision rehabilitation programs, and then accompany him or her to some. This will teach you what your senior can do independently, enabling you to support his or her successes.
- Encourage your senior to get counseling from someone trained to deal with vision issues, either individually or in a group setting.
- Most people with vision loss are told to stop smoking, as smoking can double their chance of developing macular degeneration, one of the main causes of vision loss in seniors. Encourage your senior to get help to stop smoking.
Posted by: Frank Esposito, Vice President of Expert Home Care. New Jersey’s Expert Home Care provides professional and reliable home health care and companion care for NJ elderly, helping them with their daily living activities since 1984. Please call us toll free at 800-848-2336 when you have home care related questions or need assistance for a loved one. Get a Free Home Care Assessment (a $375 value!) when you mention this post.