Of all of the senses, loss of vision can be the most devastating. As vision wanes, people find themselves wondering if they will be able to continue to lead an independent life. If a family caregiver is already lending a hand, they may wonder at what point they will need more assistance than friends and family can provide. These fears and insecurities can warp into a downward spiral with depression at the end of the line. Fortunately, there is an upward ascent that you, as a family caregiver, can help provide.
A Note on Depression
If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, make an appointment with your loved one’s primary health care provider. At some point, antidepressants and therapy may be required.
- Change in eating habits—either loss of appetite or increase in food or alcohol intake.
- Change in sleeping pattern—either excessive or leading toward insomnia.
- Loss of interest in daily activities and socializing.
- Hopelessness and despair.
- Loss of energy and increasing apathy.
- Unexplained aches and pains.
How you can help
Help your parent by discovering together the many tools and helpful gadgets available to those with diminishing eyesight. Having a book read to you can be soothing and relaxing. It takes you back to a time when other’s cared for your daily needs and mother’s or father’s would read a book to you as you drifted off to sleep. If your parent has not looked into the world of audiobooks, now is the time. Take a trip together to the library and scoop up a few of your parent’s favorite authors. Grab a cup of tea or ice-cold lemonade and sit on the porch while you both enjoy the telling of a tale. There are some beautiful voices telling some wonderful stories.
According to an article found in American Council of the Blind, “Almost 7 million Americans over the age of 65 have severe visual impairment.” Most will experience partial to moderate vision loss. If your parent has not seen an ophthalmologist recently, now is the time. Many age-related diseases associated with vision loss can be treated. Outside of cataracts, vision can usually not be restored; however, the progression of the disease can often be delayed. These diseases include diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.
Create a Safe Environment
Help your loved one feel safe at home by installing task lights and making sure their home is well lit. Consider motion sensor lights in strategic places. Clear pathways of any tripping or slipping hazards such as throw rugs, clutter or obstructing furniture. Install grab bars in the shower and by the toilet.
Vision Rehabilitation Services
Trained vision rehabilitation, low vision, and occupational therapists are a tremendous resource in helping your loved one adapt to their changing eyesight. These services usually include help with learning how to adapt to loss of vision and still remain independent. They include new communication skills such as the use of a computer as well as home modification and independent living skills. Orientation and mobility, such as getting around safely using their town’s public and voluntary transportation systems, are also included. Many also provide training with specified low vision devices and counseling to help your loved one adjust to vision loss.
Senior Care Provider
A senior care provider can assist with the daily activities of living. They can provide transportation and run errands such as grocery shopping. They can make sure your loved one remains active and engaged as they adapt to their changing vision.
If you or an aging parent are considering in-home senior care in Peoria, AZ, please call the caring staff at Assisting Hands Home Care. Serving North Phoenix, Glendale And Surrounding Areas. Call Us 602-362-6610.