How To Help A Blind Or Visually Impaired Relative

For anyone with normal vision, it can be hard to imagine losing your sight and having to learn how to live independently without it. Whether your relative is already visually impaired or they are beginning to lose their sight, it’s important to offer help and support for them to retain their normal routine as much as possible. So here are a few ways that you can make living independently a safe and feasible option for your relative, if they are no longer reliant on their eyesight.

Create an Accessible Environment

If your relative has recently experienced deterioration in their eyesight with age, then the chances are that their home will not be suitable for someone who is visually impaired. Making their home safe and accessible will not only prevent any accidents, but it can also make getting around much easier for them.

Install handrails and non-slip mats that can make moving around safer, and remove any hazards for trips and falls such as wires, loose carpets and obstacles. Meanwhile if the person in question still has some vision, try to put lots of contrasting colours in key places such as doorways, and large easy to read labels on important appliances and areas of the house.

Home Care Services

Just because you relative has lost their vision doesn’t mean that they can no longer live independently, but it does mean that some of their daily tasks may become increasingly difficult. Home care is a great option to help them remain in their own home with a little extra assistance. This can be with cleaning, sorting their post and admin, personal hygiene or whatever you and your relative think is necessary to give the a normal life.

Reduce the Emotional Impact

Although safety is key when dealing with visual impairment, something that receives much less attention is the emotional impact that it can have on someone’s life. No longer being able to read, get out and about, or even see the TV can be stressful and upsetting. However there are always ways to help with this.

For peace of mind about their safety as well as a great way to combat loneliness, think about applying for a guide dog for your relative if they are blind or nearly so. Another good idea is to find out what their favourite music is and purchase them a few CDs and a new player for them to use with ease. It can be the simplest gestures that can make someone feel happy and loved, so don’t underestimate these little touches to show that you care.

Losing your vision is one of the natural signs of aging that unfortunately affects millions of people as they get older. However as a caring relative you can take several steps to ease the impact of this process for your loved one, and ensure that they can continue living happily and independently in their own home for as long as possible.

Article written by freelance copywriter Kelly Gilmour-Grassam, a Yorkshire lass who loves international cuisine and travel, she would love to eat her way around the world! Follow @KellyGGrassam

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