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.
• 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.