Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks!

Topics: Caregivers: Open the Blinds to Improve Quality of Life

Many senior citizens feel trapped in their own homes. The inability to move about and get out as they once did, can cause sadness and depression. If they have vision problems, what we see as bright, they may see as dim. There are causes for this, like age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and of course, aging. With this being said, there are some ways to help your loved one have an improved quality of life, even if they don’t have great eye-sight.

Open up the blinds, pull back the curtains, and let our loved ones take in all the natural light they can handle. It is vital that good lighting is present in the home. It can prevent injury and even falls. Natural light has been known to make all of us feel better, so I am sure it will help our seniors. Sitting outside in the warmer months was always a go-too when I was caring for my mother. I realize, however, in some parts of the world, as it gets colder, sitting outside is not an option. So when outside is off-limits, open the blinds and pull back the curtains and let the natural light come in. Good lighting also helps our loved ones avoid bumping into corners of tables or tripping over items on the floor. Lighting decreases the risk of slips, falls, and injuries.

In addition to the aging eye, we need to consider the exceptional challenges and needs of the elderly. It is especially important to provide adequate illumination in stairwells, hallways, porches, and door entrances and exits. This is certainly important for our loved ones with physical limitations. Don’t forget to check light bulbs in lamps and ceiling lights.

Because we are talking about vision and lighting, other thoughts to consider are extension cords and phone cords. Please keep them out of walking and sitting locales to avoid tripping, you or your loved one. If your loved one is wearing glasses, please make sure annual eye examinations are done.

As Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate, it is important to keep our loved ones' environment as bright and safe as possible. Be safe

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Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman

Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman

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Dr. Hickman is the author of From the Lens of Daughter, Nurse, and Caregiver: A Journey of Duty and Honor and The Black Book of Important for Caregivers.