01 Feb 3 Tips to Help a Person with Sight Loss in Their Home
Age-related sight loss is very common and can result in someone becoming dependant on friends and family to help them with their daily care and needs. For people living with sight loss, making changes to the design and layout of the home can mean the difference between being able to live and function independently and relying on others to help them with day to day living.
A key area in which to practically support a person experiencing sight loss is to evaluate their home environment to help them remain comfortable and safe and to be able to continue to function as best they can.
1. Improve lighting and reduce glare
Making what appears to be small changes to lighting in the home can have a significant impact on someone with sight loss. Keeping levels consistent and controllable will help too. Try some of these
- Add more lamps and lighting throughout the house will help someone use remaining vision more effectively
- Additional lighting for stairs especially the top & bottom stair – this will help reduce accidents.
- Install night lights in key places to help the person find their way around easier – on the way to bathroom or to highlight exits
- Try using different coloured bulbs and see what works best – e.g. yellow or white?
- Reduce Glare around the home – install blinds or shades on windows
2. Increase dark and light contrasts throughout the home
A lot of people experiencing sight loss will experience contrast sensitivity. This can result in a reduced ability to detect differences between objects. So if you have sight loss, increasing the contrast between say, objects and backgrounds will likely make the object more visible.
Use paint, tape or accessories to help with this e.g. handrails not the same colour as the wall paint.
3. Organise the Home
Simple changes, followed by consistency in organising the home can have a huge impact:
- Organise cupboards – e.g. teabags always kept in same handy place, food kept completely away from cleaning products, medications kept in a consistent place.
- Consistent places to keep the remote control, keys, the post
- Reduce the danger of trips and falls- de-clutter walking paths & help eliminate tripping hazards – mats & rugs, wires etc