Tips and Adaptations to Help Seniors with Low Vision Decrease Reliance on Others, Reduce Associated Health Risks

A big obstacle for seniors being able to maintain their indepennce and thus not rely on others for assistance is low vision. Low vision occurs when a person only has partial sight that cannot be corrected by glasses, contact lenses, medicine or surgery. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), more than 2.5 million Americans age 65 and older have low vision, but this number is projected to increase to 7 million by 2050 due to the growing aging population. Low vision can cause frustration from having to rely on loved ones or caregivers, can cause serious falls, and can make everyday activities most of us take for granted very difficult or impossible.  AAO is calling July “Celebrate Senior Independence Month,” and is providing tips to help seniors with low vision (and their loved ones and caregivers) enhance the use of their remaining sight and maintain self-sufficiency while at home.
“Having low vision can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to mean giving up your independence,” said Charles P. Wilkinson, M.D., chair of EyeCare America, a public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology that provides eye care to medically-underserved seniors. Dr. Wilkinson adds that simply making some adjustments around the house can make a major difference in allowing seniors to continue to go about their daily activities despite their partial eyesight. 
Here are some of those tips from the American Academy of Ophthalmology:
Set the scene: have furniture closer together so there is less need for the use of their distance vision. Also avoid rugs with patterns
Increase contrast and color with furniture, carpet, etc. around the house
Make things bright around the house from wall paper, to door colors, to carpet, to table cloths
Embrace technology: technology such as iPhones have tools to aid seniors with low vison 
Get rid of hazards on the floors: for example electrical cords 
Keep getting your eye exams: make sure to have a regularly scheduled eye exam 
You can learn more about these low vision tips here and please give us a call with any questions or to schedule your next appointment, (502) 458-9004.
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