Though there are a number of difficulties that surround vision loss, AMD patients often become particularly frustrated by the problems that household tasks suddenly pose. Some of the simple chores we take for granted while we have adequate vision can become troubling, difficult errands for those coping with sight loss.
Below we have listed some of our best tips, tricks and recommendations for adjusting to low vision in your household. Though vision loss can be a frightening experience, there are many things one can do to remain active and self-sufficient.
Low vision tips room by room:
- Always consider contrast- particularly in the kitchen. Ensure the colours of your kitchenware to contrast against the background colour. For instance, use white or light coloured mugs for coffee and black cups for milk.
- Designate certain shelves in the fridge for certain foods. That way, you’ll know what is on each shelf every time you open the fridge. Use the top shelf for meat, the next for fruit, the bottom for beverages, and so forth.
- Use dinner plates that are differently coloured from your table. (Make sure your dinner plates have built up ridges, too!)
- Used raised or coloured stickers to identify important buttons and markings on the microwave, fridge or stove.
- Outline the edges of tables and counters with brightly coloured tape or ribbon.
- Be sure to label your cleaning supplies, store them in a plastic carrier and keep them away from all foods and beverages
- Knives should always be kept in a separate location from other utensils to avoid injuries.
- Have a lamp that can be turned on and off from your bed. (Clap-on lights can be useful!)
- Organize the clothing in your closet by colour.
- Keep a nightlight on at all times.
- If you have a television in your bedroom, position it to avoid any glare. Also consider attaching a holster to the side of your bed to keep remote controls, DVDs etc. (That way, you’ll know exactly where everything is and it won’t fall off your bedside table.)
- Couch throw pillows should be bright, contrasting colours and enhance your ability to see the sofa.
- If possible, eliminate low furniture like stools, footrests and coffee tables. (If you must have a coffee table, be sure to choose a table that is a solid colour and contrasts with the floor with no glass portions.
- Opt for furniture that will not create glare. Cover furniture that does create glare with a large tablecloth.
- Area rugs can be helpful as they can be used to define areas for those with low vision. However, it’s important that area rugs be tacked down and secured to avoid falls.
- Choose a brightly coloured tub matt with good grip.
- Use soaps, body washes and shampoos that come in bottles that are differently shaped and sized, so as to tell the conditioner from the body wash. Consider that it might be helpful to select shampoos that smell fruity and body washes that have a floral fragrance, for instance.
- If possible, install a waterproof light in the shower
- As for your medicine cabinet, wrap rubber bands around your MacuHealth and other vitamins so you can decipher those bottles from separate prescriptions.
- Buy toothpaste with a hinged cap to avoid misplacing it. Also, buy a toothbrush that contrasts with your paste and bathroom countertop.
- Always have a small magnifying mirror on hand that can be used to read labels and fine print.
Modifying the way you are accustomed to living can be challenging at times. However, with a little practice and resilience these techniques will soon become second-nature. Macular degeneration doesn’t have to prevent you from living a fulfilling, independent life.
Did we miss any household tips? Comment below and share your ideas!