From retiring to relocating, aging requires each of us to learn how to adapt to change. One change an older adult may experience is declining vision or vision loss. Research shows that one in six adults over 65 has some form of visual impairment.
As vision challenges progress, completing everyday tasks can become more difficult. In the right environment, however, a senior might be able to continue to have an active and fulfilling lifestyle.
The good news for seniors with vision problems is that there are more options available than ever before. For some older adults, home modifications combined with technology can make their existing home a safer place.
For other seniors, a move to an assisted living community allows them to maintain a sense of freedom and independence. Assisted living communities are designed to accommodate a wide range of changes and challenges older adults experience, including vision problems.
How Assisted Living Promotes Independence
For adults with a vision impairment or complete vision loss, the daily tasks we all need to complete can become difficult or even dangerous. For example, if the laundry room is located in the basement, navigating the stairs safely while carrying a basket of clothes can be tough. Taking a bath, preparing a meal, and doing household chores are also more complicated.
For most adults with vision loss, driving to the grocery store or a doctor’s appointment is no longer feasible. They must rely on others for transportation and often for assistance navigating their way around a public place.
In addition to having an accessible floor plan and physical plant, an assisted living community makes the tasks and chores of everyday life easier and safer. Here are a few of the ways an assisted living community can help a senior live more independently in their own apartment or suite:
- Support with personal care, such as bathing, grooming, and dressing
- Three well-balanced meals and snacks each day
- Laundry and housekeeping assistance
- Transportation to local destinations and outings, as well as medical appointments
Better Quality of Life for Older Adults with Vision Loss
In addition to a safer environment, adults with vision loss can also enjoy quality of life benefits in an assisted living community. Social isolation is a challenge seniors with vision impairment often face. From not having transportation to participate in social events or attend religious services to picking out the right clothing and grooming their hair, staying connected is challenging when your vision is diminished.
Assisted living communities are very social environments that provide residents with both formal and informal opportunities for connecting. Mealtimes are social affairs, group outings occur frequently throughout the week, and life enrichment activities occur every day. For an adult with vision loss, it’s an ideal way to feel connected.
Protect Your Vision As You Age
If you are an older adult or the caregiver for one, you might not be aware of just how important it is for older adults to have a yearly vision exam. Ophthalmologists say it’s the best way to identify vision problems—such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration—early so they can be treated. Read “The Importance of a Yearly Eye Exam for Seniors” to learn more.