Assisted Living For Visually Impaired Seniors
As you get older, the quality and degree of your vision will inevitably begin to deteriorate. For some people with genetic predispositions or family histories of low-quality vision, this deterioration can commence at an extremely early age. Most people, however, tend to experience moderate to severe vision loss at a much later stage in their lives thanks to diseases like diabetes, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and cataracts just to name a few. Starting in your mid to late-40s, you might begin to notice that you have a harder time reading small texts, distinguishing between certain shades of colours, seeing in the dark, or that there are more and more glares and disruptions in your vision. Fortunately, it's never been easier to get access to specialized home care assistance for seniors with specific medical, physical, cognitive, and visual needs.
Common Vision Problems and Eye Diseases in the Elderly
In some cases, it doesn't matter how well you take care of your body throughout your life, the possibility of developing certain medical ailments in old age is still strong. The fact is that most people will endure some sort of vision problems as they get older and they're far more common than you might think. Here are some of the most common vision problems and eye diseases that people tend to develop in old age:
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
This disease directly impacts your central vision and causes extreme blurriness, the inability to distinguish between fine lines and certain colours in your vision, and it can even distort the fine lines of the objects you're looking at, making it impossible to separate one object or person from another.
With cataracts, you may notice a cloudy quality to your vision in the sense that it'll constantly feel like you're staring through a fog, regardless of actual lighting and weather conditions. Your vision will be perpetually fuzzy. In most cases, surgery is the best option to correct this issue.
Diabetic Eye Disease
There are a variety of eye diseases that are directly related to and caused by diabetes. The most commonly diagnosed one is diabetic retinopathy, a condition in which the blood vessels in the retina are damaged by the disease itself, causing either partial or complete visual blackouts.
Glaucoma damages the optic nerve in the eye, which can result in loss of peripheral vision and diminish a person's ability to process contrast. This can make it extremely difficult to see properly in the dark, which is why most glaucoma patients avoid driving or going out at night.
Sometimes, as you get older, your body can become dehydrated if you're not drinking enough water throughout the day and this can lead to a condition known as dry eye. The tear ducts are unable to produce liquid on their own, which leads to dry and itchy eyeballs. This can make it difficult for most patients to participate in a wide range of daily activities such as driving, reading for long periods of time, or using electronic devices without squinting incessantly.
Having low vision means your eyes have managed to retain some semblance of being able to see, but to varying degrees. Your vision may be strained, sensitive to light, and susceptible to glares. All of these symptoms can make it difficult for you to enjoy life to the fullest and fully participate in the activities you enjoy doing most. However, having low vision doesn't necessarily have to lower your overall quality of life. You can still continue to enjoy doing certain things and retain your independence; you might just need to make a few adjustments in your lifestyle and accept the assistance of a seasoned professional caregiver once in a while or as often as you need it.
When too much fluid builds up inside the eye, it can lead to intraocular pressure. Patients typically won't experience damage to the optic nerve or lose their field of vision. Normal levels of intraocular pressure range between 10mmHg and 21mmHg. If the intraocular pressure becomes too elevated, then it could substantially increase the risk of developing glaucoma.
Daily Challenges Faced by Seniors with Poor Vision
As you can imagine, gradually losing your vision over time isn't easy. It's something that millions of seniors must deal with on a daily basis and there's more to it than just a physical loss of visual control. Seniors with severe vision loss usually require a significant amount of assistance adjusting to their new lifestyles and this can make them feel like a burden on their families and friends. By providing proper vision care for seniors who are experiencing vision loss, you can help them lead better and more fulfilling lives. Here are just some of the challenges that vision loss in seniors can present:
- Mobility issues
- Inability to drive themselves around
- Lack of independence
- Require constant assistance
How You Can Help Your Elderly Loved One Adjust to Vision Loss or Blindness
Here are a few simple tips for helping your elderly loved one become more accustomed to handling their loss of vision:
- Improve lighting conditions and reduce glare in their home
- Setup living space according to their needs, make it more accessible and place most frequently used items within easy reach
- Accentuate dark and light contrasts throughout their home to make it easier for them to distinguish certain items
Our Home Care Assistance Service for Seniors Dealing with Vision Loss
At Home Care Assistance - Toronto/York Region, we care deeply about all of our patients and want to make sure they have everything they need to sustain their lifestyles and improve their overall quality of life. On top of offering exceptional specialized care to our clients, we also provide some much needed respite for their family members and loved ones through our reliable part-time, full-time, and live-in care services. To learn more about our organization and the services we offer in Toronto and the GTA, please feel free to contact us at your earliest convenience.