6 tips to help seniors with low vision maintain independence

August 14, 2014

Share these tips with your elderly patients with low vision to help them maintain their independence as they age.

San Francisco-Share these tips with your elderly patients with low vision to help them maintain their independence as they age.

See an eyecare professional. Patients with low vision can improve their quality of life through low vision rehabilitation.

Make things bigger. Patients with low vision should sit closer to the television or to the stage at performances. Carry magnifiers for help with menus, prescription bottles, and price tags.

Make things brighter. Make sure areas are well-lit and cover shiny surfaces to reduce glare. Consider increasing color contrasts as well. For example, drink coffee from a white mug and always use a felt-tipped pen with black ink.

Help elderly maintain independence with 7 sight-saving tips

Use technology. Many digital devices have applications that can help with low vision. For example, e-readers allow users to adjust the font size and contrast. Smartphones and tablets can also be used to magnify print, identify cash bills, and provide voice-navigated directions. 

Organize and label. Those with low vision should designate spots for their keys, wallet, and frequently used items in the refrigerator. Mark thermostats and dials with high-contrast markers from a fabric store; label medications with markers or rubber bands; and safety-pin labels onto similarly colored clothing to tell them apart.

Participate. Patients with low vision shouldn’t isolate themselves. Advise them to keep their social group, volunteer job, or golf game. It might require lighting, large print cards, a magnifier, or a ride. Make sure they ask for the help they need.