In our brains, hundreds of millions of neurons, or 30% of our cortex, is devoted to processing visual information (compared to 8% for touch and just 3% for hearing). Each of our two optic nerves, which carry signals from the retina in the back of the eyes to the brain, consists of a million fibers, while each auditory nerve consists of only 30,000 fibers. But that’s no surprise when you consider how important vision is in our everyday lives.
We see friends, navigate our world, read blogs, and watch our favorite forms of entertainment. That’s why vision care for seniors is vital. Because as we age, the effects of vision loss in seniors is more than just loss of sight. It can include feelings of isolation and fear of leaving the house. This post will provide tips on how to address the impact of vision loss on quality of life.
The Eyes of the Beholder
As the candles accumulate on your birthday cake, you’ve probably already experienced some vision changes. But with a good senior eye care program, including regular eye exams, and some simple lifestyle changes, you can often limit the impairment of vision due to old age on your daily life.
- Bright Idea: Use specialized lamps and bulbs to increase contrast and reduce glare. Direct task lighting is best for things like reading, playing cards or crafting. If you use a task light, the lighting in the rest of the room should also be increased. Keeping lights on during daytime hours will help equalize lighting from both indoor and outdoor sources.
- Reduce Risks: Nightlights in bedrooms, hallways, and bathrooms can help reduce the chance of tripping and falling. You should also eliminate clutter and throw rugs, and consider replacing or relocating short or difficult-to-see furniture.
- Get Organized: Designating spots for commonly used items — keys, TV remote and eyeglasses — can make it easier to find things.
- High Contrast: One result of vision loss in older adults has to do with color perception. Colors that are too similar can make it difficult for those with vision impairment due to old age to detect doorways, stairs and furniture — especially smaller objects that blend into their surroundings. Using wall and floor colors that contrast can make navigating around a room easier. Using light colors for table tops, counters that contrast with dark objects like eyeglasses, keys, scissors can make daily activities much easier for aging eyes.
- Think Bigger: Look for items that come with larger print, such as books, checkbooks, calendars, clocks, watches, appointment books and playing cards. You can also use a magnifying glass to see things, and there are electronic magnification units that use a camera to capture an image and project it onto a built-in monitor. Also, today’s smartphones have magnification apps to help with reading small print and flashlights for use in low-light environments.
See Yourself as Part of Our Community
No matter what type of physical limitations you may have, at Harrogate we believe staying active and being social is an important part of enjoying life. That’s why we have a calendar full of on-site activities, and scheduled transportation for outings, shopping trips and appointments. We also feature a philosophy of wellness and offer a team of on-site specialists to provide health services, including optometry and vision care for seniors. To learn more, call us at 1-866-606-0178.