August 8, 2011

Helping the seniors in your life with low vision stay safe and secure in their home is possible. The basic principles to keep in mind when considering home modifications for persons with vision impairments are reducing clutter, improving lighting and reducing glare, as well as utilizing color and contrast. These principles can help individuals to safely maintain a level of independence while also making objects more visible.

When evaluating and modifying their home, start with these inexpensive recommendations for an immediate improvement.

  • Install brighter light bulbs and more light bulbs for continuous lighting levels throughout the home.
  • Install clap-on lights.
  • Replace sheer curtains with mini-blinds to cut down on glare.
  • Mark the edges of steps or handrails with brightly colored tape or paint to make them easier to see.
  • Organize and label clothing and personal items.
  • Label and mark medications.
  • Mark cupboard pulls and pot handles with brightly colored electrical tape and use brightly colored marking dots on stove and microwave controls for easier adjustments.
  • Rearrange the furniture to take advantage of natural sunlight and reduce glare.
  • Highlight electrical sockets/light plate switches in a color that contrasts with the wall color for better visibility.
  • Place a flexible-arm or gooseneck lamp near the telephone to help see the numbers more clearly and make sure the phone has large numbers on the buttons.

Continuum understands how best to manage the needs of decreased vision and can help coordinate community resources and services as needed. For more information about how we can help, please call (314) 863-9912.