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A Safe Home for the Visually Impaired

A common disability among seniors is being visually impaired. If you have a senior loved one coming to live with you, you may feel overwhelmed by all the upcoming changes. However, there is good news!

There are many simple accommodations that can be made to ensure that a person with a vision issue will be safe and comfortable in your home. Start with the small things and work your way up.

The first step is to sit down and work out what your loved one’s daily activities will be within the home. Take a look at each room carefully and identify things that might become tripping hazards. For example, a turned-up corner of a throw rug or the spindly leg of a chair. Think about lighting, organization, and how to find important items with ease.

The following enlighten some of the best ways to get started.

Don’t forget the exterior

When you think about making modifications to your home for visual impairment, you might be thinking solely of the interior. However, the outside of your house may need some work, too. If there are steps, they need to be marked with reflectors or painted with a bright color for easy navigation. Your address should be easily visible from the street or brightly painted on the mailbox. Small, solar-powered lights should be added to walkways and around steps.

Check out your lighting

The lighting in your home should be functional as well as help provide safety. Add floor lamps, wall fixtures, and battery-operated lights to closets, dark hallways, stairways, and any other areas that don’t get much natural light.

The lighting in your home should be functional as well as help provide safety. | photo: JWH Kitchen Designs

Keep windows open as much as possible or get sheer curtains to let in natural light. The latter is preferable for many individuals living with a vision impairment.

Think about flooring

While hardwood or laminate flooring is preferable for individuals with a disability, it may not be feasible for everyone. Nonetheless, carpeting should be in good shape, and throw rugs should be replaced or tacked down well to the floor. Rugs should never be placed near stairs.

In the bathroom

The bathroom is one of those places where the most accidents can occur. This is why it’s very important to make it as safe as possible. Grab bars should be installed in the shower, and non-slip mats should be placed in the bathtub and on the bathroom floor.

It’s also a good idea to paint the walls a contrasting color behind the sink and toilet to make them easier to see. Many bathrooms are equipped with white-on-white fixtures, so having a dark color behind them will help your loved one navigate more easily.

Remove clutter

Each room in your home should be free of clutter, especially walkways and hallways. Push furniture back against the wall and refrain from keeping things on the floor unless absolutely necessary. Let your family know that they’ll need to be responsible for cleaning up after themselves. Leaving items on the floor or on the stairs is a huge NO-NO.

Author: Jackie Waters (Hyper-Tidy.com)