If your senior loved one has low vision, you might already know that there is no cure for it. It is a condition in which one loses one or more aspects of their sight (central vision, peripheral vision, etc.), or has that aspect compromised. The problem cannot be corrected with normal glasses, and the condition may steadily decline over the rest of your loved one’s life.
While that all sounds very grim, there are actually many ways that you and your loved one’s senior care aide can help your aging loved one manage their low vision. You can make their life easier and clearer with just a few simple modifications and techniques.
Let’s take a look at some of them.
Glasses – While in many cases, glasses cannot correct a low vision problem, sometimes they can be helpful in magnifying things in the line of sight, so that your senior loved one can see them better. This, though, depends on how much magnification is required. At a certain point, glasses get too thick and contain too much magnification to be helpful, and become instead another danger, because they are disorienting to wear and see through. Speak to your loved one’s doctor to find out if they could benefit from glasses, or if another treatment option might suit them better.
Magnifying glasses – If your loved one has trouble reading, they might benefit from using a magnifying glass to make the words appear bigger and more legible to them. There are many different types of magnifying glasses to choose from, ranging from handheld ones to freestanding rigs, as well as various magnification levels.
Telescopes – If your senior loved one has the opposite problem and has difficulty seeing things that are far away instead of up close, a telescope could be useful. If you’re thinking about the big, bulky telescopes astronomers use to study the skies, though, think again. These telescopes are specially made for people with low vision, and can be very small. Some can be handheld and only the thickness of a pencil, and others can actually be clipped or affixed to one’s glasses to allow one to see far away, hands-free.
Electronic magnification – If reading is your loved one’s biggest issue, there is new technology today that allows one to hook up a computer or ereader, or even just a camera to a large television screen. The information from the device is then sent to the big screen, so that your loved one can read the text in very big, clear font.
Eye exercises – Depending on what type of low vision your loved one has, there are many specially designed eye exercises that can help them adapt to having low vision. For example, there are exercises for people who have trouble with peripheral vision that help them learn to use their central vision more effectively, and vice versa. Talk to your loved one’s doctor to see if there are any eye exercises that may help them with their specific issue.
Low vision doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Human beings are made to adapt to new and different circumstances, and with these techniques, seeing doesn’t have to be a struggle.