Up to 30 % 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
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
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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