Of all our senses, vision is perhaps the one for which we’re most appreciative. So much of our life’s experiences are a result of what we see in the world around us. Our vision also protects us from a variety of dangers. Reduced or low vision can make it more challenging to avoid the hazards and obstacles we encounter, both within and outside of the home.
If you are providing care for someone who struggles with low vision, creative use of colors and contrasts can improve the person’s level of safety and independence. It’s not as hard as you may think! For example, keep these tips in mind:
- Solid, bright colors such as red, orange, and yellow best reflect light and as a result are easiest to see.
- Light-colored items placed against darker backgrounds offer heightened contrast. For example, placing a white sheet of paper on a black desk stands out more than on a beige surface.
- Similarly, darker objects are more easily detected against lighter backgrounds. A dark blue chair can be seen best against a light-colored wall.
- When arranging furniture and other items in the home, keep in mind that some colors are so similar that differentiating between them can be a struggle for those with low vision. The most common color groups that cause problems are:
• Navy blue, brown, and black
• Blue, green, and purple
• Pink, light green and yellow
- Using light-reflecting tape or brightly colored paint on the leading edge of the first and last steps on a stairway can help them stand out.
- Runners for hallways in bright, solid colors can help more clearly define walking spaces.
Of course, before implementing any changes in someone’s home who suffers with low vision issues, it’s important to keep that person’s wishes and feelings in mind. An individual dealing with vision loss is likely facing a variety of fears, such as a diminished sense of control over his/her life choices, loss of independence and privacy, and the fear that others may see him or her differently. The person may also be feeling overwhelmed or anxious about what the future holds, and reluctant to share his or her thoughts. Remaining sensitive to these feelings instead of just brushing them aside can make a significant impact.
If a senior loved one in your life is struggling with low vision issues, call on the New Jersey home care team at Well-Being Home Care for assistance and resources at 201-781-6103. We’ll be happy to arrange a free in-home evaluation and work together with you to come up with an appropriate plan to keep the senior safe and thriving at home.