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Vision Loss Tips

By Ryan Mackey

Up to 30 percent of seniors today face partial vision loss at the hands of macular degeneration. The retina gradually declines with age in macular degeneration, and impairs the vision used to read and look into another person’s face. The macula, which is the center of the retina, deteriorates to a point that sight is restricted to the edges of the retina only. Here are some helpful tips to alleviate the problems a loved one may face if they are in a hospital or a nursing home. 

Tell a loved one to be up front about their vision loss with any aides and hospital staff that may take for granted their ability to see food, people, and hand motions. 

Make sure staff at the hospital or nursing home makes a special note about a loved one’s reduced vision levels, and does not merely describe their vision loss as “glaucoma.”

Be understanding of the person’s capacity to see and do certain tasks. If there is something they struggle with such as writing their signature or reading small print, make sure the doctors know ahead of time.

Make sure any visitors or staff members introduce themselves to your loved one when they enter the room instead of simply walking in the room and assuming they have been recognized.

Ensure that the lighting in the loved one’s room is sufficient enough for them to see as best as possible. The stronger the light, the better chance the senior has to see things clearly and make out certain images.

Have the staff at the hospital or nursing facility make known the meals they bring in and arrange the meal so the senior can adjust to an eating position.

Other vision conscious items such as large number playing cards, books on tape, and large button phones can assist the senior in making the adjustment to loss of eyesight smoothly.


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