Poor vision is often considered just another part of normal aging. However, getting older doesn’t mean your senior loved one must lose the ability to see clearly. Many health conditions that affect vision are preventable, and you can use the following tips to help your loved one preserve the ability to see for as long as possible.
1. Prevent Injuries to the Eyes
When people think of fall-related injuries, they often think of broken bones. However, your loved one is also at risk for losing vision if he or she falls in a way that affects the eyes. Reduce fall hazards around the house, and talk to your loved one about ways to protect the eyes from injuries, such as wearing safety goggles when engaging in activities that may generate airborne objects that could hit the eyes.
Mild to moderate vision loss can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of senior home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
2. Manage Current Health Conditions
Diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease can all impact eye health. Help your loved one arrange for regular checkups for these conditions, and provide assistance with treatment plans. For instance, your loved one may need someone to check his or her blood sugar or remind him or her to take blood pressure medication on time. Keeping these health issues in check can stave off changes that lead to reduced vision.
In Tucson, respite care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family.
3. Encourage Regular Exercise
Eyes need a constant flow of blood and oxygen to function properly. Help your loved one maintain strong circulation throughout the body by providing opportunities for regular exercise. For seniors with glaucoma, choose low-impact exercises that don’t require large amounts of straining. For example, walking, water aerobics, and tai chi are all effective ways to get blood circulating to the eyes without being too strenuous.
4. Serve Eye-Healthy Foods
Carrots aren’t the only food that helps seniors maintain their eyesight. Your loved one should eat a diet rich in antioxidants and nutrients that promote better eye health. For example, eggs contain lutein, which is known for preventing macular degeneration. Vitamins C and E can also help your loved one maintain healthy vision. If necessary, work with a professional who understands senior nutrition to plan your loved one’s meals and protect his or her ability to see clearly.
5. Reduce Eye Strain
Seniors today have embraced technology, and you should encourage your loved one to connect with friends and family online. However, too much screen time also contributes to eye issues such as dryness. Talk to your loved one about ways to reduce eye strain. For instance, your loved one should take short breaks from the bright screen every 15 minutes and focus on something else in the room.
6. Schedule Regular Eye Exams
Many major eye conditions are treatable in the earliest stages. For example, glaucoma can be treated with prescription drops to prevent it from advancing. Work with your loved one’s eye doctor to develop a schedule for regular exams that fits your loved one’s needs. Then make sure your loved one has a reminder when an exam is near along with transportation to make it to the appointment.
Older adults can enhance their visual health by making several healthy lifestyle choices. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Tucson home care service provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (520) 276-6555.