Helping Your Loved One When They Lose Their Sight
Loss of sight is a difficult thing to come to terms with, leaving those affected devastated by the effect that it has on their lives. And that can have a profound effect upon other family members too as they try to come to terms with their loved one’s sensory impairment.
In the UK alone, around 1.8 million people currently live with sight loss, with the majority of those affected being over the age of 85.
For a loved one to lose their sight, it seems like an insurmountable hurdle at first, but there are plenty of things that can be done to make their life – and yours – much easier.
A Place for Everything
When people lose their sight, it’s more important than ever before to make things as easy as possible to find. That means establishing a home for everything and making sure that things are returned to their correct homes after each and every use. Knowing where to find their belongings is vital for your loved one’s independence, as it reduces their reliance on other people to find things for them.
When your loved one can’t see whether you’ve just entered the room, verbal communication becomes increasingly important to keep them up to date with your movements. Make sure that you take the time to introduce your presence verbally whenever you approach your loved one, and take care to direct their attention to items that you place within their reach so that they can adjust their mental landscape accordingly.
Make Use of Technology
Technological advances make it easier than ever before to allow a loved one with sight impairment to manage tasks independently. From audio books that will allow your older relative to enjoy their favourite authors and genres to auditory aids that make everyday life so much easier, you’ll find plenty of options that add value around the home. One useful tool, for example, is an indicator that monitors liquid levels when your loved one is making a drink – a beeping noise alerts them to the fact that the mug is full, preventing messy spills and potential scalds.
Promote Social Activities
When people lose their sight they feel a great sense of isolation, so it’s particularly important to encourage your loved one to get out and about and socialise with other people. Look for local groups at people with sight problems, as talking to others with similar problems can be a great source of information and reassurance. There’s no need to let former hobbies and interests fall by the wayside either, so take the time to help your loved one to get out and about within their community, as this will encourage them to live life to the full.
Seek Out Specialist Help
Whether you search locally or nationally, you’ll find that there’s plenty of support out there for people with sensory impairment. Introduce your loved one to organisations that provide ongoing help and support to anyone with sight problems.