American Academy of Ophthalmology offers tips and adaptations to help older persons maintain independence
by: PR NewsWire
SAN FRANCISCO, — A significant obstacle for maintaining self-reliance for older people is low vision. A common condition for this age group, low vision can make everyday activities seem impossible, require the assistance of loved ones and caregivers and increase the risk of falls and mental health issues. In the same spirit as Independence Day, the American Academy of Ophthalmology has declared July “Celebrate Senior Independence Month,” and is providing tips to help older persons with low vision – and their loved ones – enhance the use of their remaining sight and maintain self-sufficiency at home.

By definition, low vision occurs when a person only has partial sight that cannot be corrected by glasses, contact lenses, medicine or surgery. It is characterized by blurred vision, blind spots or tunnel vision and often caused by age-related eye diseases such as glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. Currently, more than 2.5 million Americans age 65 and older have low vision, but this number is projected to increase to 7 million by 2050 due to the growing aging population.While people with low vision disorders may depend on the support of loved ones and caregivers to help provide assistance at home, ophthalmologists – medical doctors that specialize in the diagnosis, medical and surgical treatment of eye diseases and conditions – say there are ways to lessen this dependency for those with less severe forms of low vision.  

“Having low vision can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to mean giving up your independence,” said Charles P. Wilkinson, M.D., chair of EyeCare America, a public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology that provides eye care to medically-underserved seniors. “Just a few adjustments around the house can make a big difference in maintaining comfort and strengthening your ability to accomplish your normal daily activities with partial sight.”
Here are some tips from the Academy:

  • Set the scene
    Place furniture in small groupings so less distance vision is required during a conversation. Avoid upholstery and rugs with patterns, which can create visual confusion. Instead, find furniture with texture, which provides tactile clues for identification………                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Read more;                                              Source: PR NewsWire & American Academy of Ophthalmology