There are more than 6 million seniors who have low vision, and that number increases as the number of seniors increases. Low vision is most often due to macular degeneration as seniors get older, but underlying health problems can also contribute to vision problems. Sometimes seniors may be hesitant to tell you that they’re having trouble with their vision because they are afraid that it means they won’t be able to stay in their homes. But with some extra help and some careful redecorating seniors can safely remain in their homes as they get older even with low vision.
Seniors who prefer to age in place but have low vision may need help from a senior care provider and their families in order to be safe at home. Four things you can do to help your senior parent stay safe at home if they low vision are:
Don’t Let Them Cook Alone
There are still plenty of things that your senior parent can do for themselves with low vision. However, a senior care provider can help your loved one with things that could be dangerous like cooking meals. That will ensure that your parent is safe from fire and also that they don’t end up putting things in their food that shouldn’t be there by mistake.
Install More Lights
Increasing the availability of light will help your loved one move around the house safely. Install motion activated light along the floor in hallways so that your loved one will have light to see as they walk around the house at night or early in the morning. Have undercabinet lights installed in the kitchen. And add accent lights that have easy to turn switches in any other dark areas in the home. If the house has stairs you can have custom stair lighting installed to help your parent navigate the stairs safely.
Put Appliances On Timers Or Use Smart Appliances
A great way to ensure that your loved one doesn’t leave appliances on because they can’t see the button to turn them off when there isn’t a senior care provider there with them is to put all the appliances like the coffee pot or toaster oven on a smart plug or switch to smart appliances. That way you can set them to turn off after a certain amount of time or control them yourself through an app on your smartphone.
While it might not go well with the home’s décor using contrasting paint colors in the home can help your senior parent get around more effectively. For example, if you paint a hallway one color and then change to a high contrast color just before the stair landing it’s a visual cue for your senior that the stairs are coming up. You can even use glow in the dark paint on stairs or to create a path in a hallway to give your loved one more visual cues.
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