A common disability among seniors is failing vision. If you have a senior loved one coming to live with you, you may feel overwhelmed by all the changes that need to be made. But the good news is 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, so 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 trip hazards, such as the 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.
Here are some of the best ways to get started:
Don’t forget the exterior
When you think about making modifications to your home for a visual impairment, you might be thinking solely of the interior, but 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 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 of the home that don’t get much natural light. Keep windows open as much as possible or get sheer curtains to let in natural light, which 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. However, 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 the places in the home where the most accidents can occur, so it’s 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.
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 and not leaving items on the floor or on the stairs.
Author: Jackie Waters (Hyper-Tidy.com)