Caring for Aging Loved Ones with Vision Loss: Understanding the Role of In-Home Caregiving
Vision loss is one of the most common age-related issues experienced by senior citizens. For many seniors, decreasing vision can have many different effects on their day-to-day lives and can even lead to accidents in the kitchen or outside.
Deteriorating vision can also affect a senior’s ability to communicate and understand what others are trying to convey. This can lead to frustration during conversations and can even lead to social withdrawal.
Moreover, it can make it difficult for seniors to move around the house or their environment safely. What used to be a simple stroll around the block can become a burden that they might choose to skip altogether. This can lead to feelings of isolation and even depression.
In this article we will cover some of the most common issues related to vision loss in the elderly and how in-home caregiving can help improve the lives of those dealing with those issues.
Vision Loss in Seniors
According to the CDC, vision impairment affects nearly 3 million people in America and the degeneration increases rapidly as one ages. 1
Vision loss can make everyday tasks much more difficult and cumbersome for senior citizens. Things that once brought joy, such as reading, cooking, or even taking a stroll outside can now be fraught with fear, anxiety, and even frustration. Some seniors may feel that they are losing their independence and may struggle with these feelings.
Age-related Macular Degeneration
Age-related Macular Degeneration, commonly referred to as AMD, is, as the name suggests, an aging related degeneration of the macula. The macula is the part of the eye responsible for sharp, central vision. At its worst, the progression of the disease will cause blurred and distorted vision, difficulty discerning fine details, and even blind spots in the center of the vision field.
Glaucoma is another common condition of vision loss that affects not the eye itself, but rather the optic nerves that connect the eye to the brain. There are a few types of glaucoma, but the most common is referred to as “open-angle glaucoma” and affects 9 out of 10 people suffering from glaucoma. 2
Another common vision problem for seniors is cataracts. Cataracts is a clouding of the eye lens that can cause blurry vision, sensitivity to light, and difficulty seeing at night. Though cataracts can often be treated with surgery, many seniors forego the surgery due to the risks involved. This can make the home and outside environments more difficult to see in the twilight and darker hours of the day.
Vision Loss and In-home Caregiving
Though vision loss can feel like a debilitating disease for senior citizens, with the assistance of in-home caregivers, seniors can get back to doing and enjoying some of their favorite activities.
In-home caregivers can help assist senior citizens dealing with vision impairment with a personalized and empathetic approach.
Taking the right medication, at the right time, with the right amount of food before or after is crucial to the effectiveness of the drug. But reading the small print on prescription bottles is difficult even for some of the sharpest eyes, let alone someone dealing with vision loss.
That’s where an in-home caregiver can help! A caregiver can assist with reading the labels and helping to organize as well as administer the medications so that seniors don’t have to strain their eyes or worry that they’re mixing up their meds.
Help Around the House
Household tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry will start to be less enjoyable and far more frustrating when the difficulties of vision impairment start to creep up in seniors. But an in-home caregiver can be the lending hand and open ear that makes chores around the house less of a bore.
Better still, an in-home caregiver can be the extra set of eyes around the house and help keep the place tidier. By ensuring the home environment is clear of any hazards or obstructions, an in-home caregiver can help keep seniors’ spaces a little safer.
Here at Christian Companions Houston, we understand that vision loss can have a significant impact on the lives of seniors and we're here to help. With the support of our compassionate caregivers, seniors can continue to live full and independent lives. Reach out to us today for a personalized consultation and let us see how we can help your elder age in place with grace.