As your relatives begin to enter their twilight years, you may feel a strong obligation to take care of them. Part of your noble duties here may involve anticipating their failing vision and helping them cope with these circumstances as comfortably as possible.
After all, plenty of parents are rightly concerned about their children’s eyes, from helping them adjust to wearing glasses to securing their regular checkups with their local opticians. However, they may not consider their own elders initially and what struggles they encounter daily with their own sight.
Therefore, you may be rightly questioning how you can support your older relatives through these troubling experiences. Read on, and you may discover what you can do to help matters here.
Tailor Your Behavior
Supporting your elderly parents with their vision problems is a long-term commitment. Therefore, to improve your ability to be as helpful as possible, you may need to make some adjustments to your behavior when in their company.
The main thing is to be sensitive to their circumstances and not exacerbate matters through ignorant behaviors. Helpful approaches could include:
- Respecting their dignity: They may have failing vision, but that may not necessarily mean they have become simple-minded. If they insist on having some measure of independence, permit such a thing, so long as they are safe in you doing so.
- Announcing your arrival: Your elderly relative may be more alarmed by a myriad of noises transpiring around them. To remove any fears from their mind at any stranger approaching the house, you could announce your arrival in a cheerful tone.
- Helping them with the house: It may be a good idea to rearrange their house somewhat so you can minimize the presence of things like trip hazards. You could also keep all their important belongings, such as bank statements and treasured keepsakes, in one concentrated area so that they are more easily found.
These measures should be a good starting point for building the level of care you would provide. Try to be as kind, patient, and considerate as possible, and the rest of your support plan should come more easily to you.
Caution Against Further Damaging Eyesight
If your older relative is experiencing failing eyesight, they need to engage in habits, behaviors, and pastimes that do not put their vision in any further peril. Otherwise, all your hard work supporting them will be compromised, and matters could be made worse here in general.
Many everyday things can potentially damage one’s eyesight, such as leaving contact lenses and practicing poor makeup hygiene. Nighttime or excessive use of screens should also be avoided too. Ultimately, your elderly relative may need help simply staying on top of things and practicing healthy behaviors, so try to step in if you feel their situation calls for your intervention.
Smoking is one trend that seems to be dying out in modern society, but those from the older generations may be more inclined to puff on a cigarette on occasion. While adults should be free to do as they will, smoking is yet another daily cause of damaging one’s eyesight, so it could be a good idea to at least advise your older relatives against smoking further for that reason.
Consider the Memory Side of Things
Unfortunately, many elderly persons also combat failing memories.
This may go on to affect how they manage their declining vision also. For example, if they have dementia, some extra precautions could be required when guiding them through an eye test. You will need to understand that the eye test will likely take longer and that you may need to provide a great deal of comfort in what they may perceive as unfamiliar or unfriendly surroundings.
More regular instances of forgetfulness may occur, too, such as the loss of one’s glasses. It may seem trivial or common at first, but to have your elderly relative blindly stumbling about their home searching for their glasses is likely a recipe for disaster.
There are many useful pieces of advice for countering this issue, such as keeping a spare pair on their persons or wearing the classic ‘older person’ accessory of a glasses chain hung about the neck. Whichever solution you provide, your older relative will surely appreciate the backup plans you create on their behalf, and you may also remove many risks to their safety.
Schedule Routine Eye Exams
Regular checkups on your elderly relative’s visual acuity are essential for monitoring their conditions and providing treatment for any developments as early as possible.
Additionally, state-of-the-art eye exams may also help identify additional health issues, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and the risk of strokes occurring. These services can be incredibly dynamic and get ahead of many serious health issues in the future, so skipping them is highly inadvisable.
It could be a good idea to schedule a follow-up checkup with your elderly relative’s eye doctor too. This way, your family member can get all their concerns off their chest and be provided with either assurances or instructions from a medical professional. Comforting words from an expert should go a long way in providing comfort too.
Remember, though you may want to help your elderly relative as much as possible, there is only so much you can do for someone older and visually prepared. Sooner or later, a wall in your expertise will be reached, and it is then best to facilitate a dialogue between your relative and an expert to talk through solutions candidly. Therefore, you should try to gauge when making way for a more knowledgeable opinion, as loyal and caring as you might be.
If you want to encourage your elderly relative to book an eye appointment finally, you are welcome to refer them to us so that they can schedule it via our accessible systems. If you harbor any lingering questions or anxieties, then you are most welcome to contact us to find out more about our range of services and how we can provide support for any difficulties you are experiencing here.