Low vision can cause a person to become less active in their everday activities. It can be difficult for someone with low vision to even eat a complete meal. And sometimes, sadly people just stop reading all together. Don't worry we have some ideas, tools, and simple changes that can help.
There is a new device on the market for people with low vison that we are excited about. The OrCam Read you can hold in your hand and scan what's in front of the person, assist the person with reading various items and help the person identify people. The OrCam MyEye can help when you are out shopping knowing how much change you got back or help read a menu. Check it out.
The correct lighting can help someone with low vision see the task they are trying to accomplish. Freestanding lamps or desk lamps directed at the task, not the eyes, are the best.
Also, the type of light in the lamp makes a big difference. Look for 5000Kelvin bulbs also labeled Daylight bulbs for light that is most like the sun which provides the best contrast
Technology is great and now allows people with low vision to enjoy books by audio instead of straining the eyes. There are several options for this including an e-reader device, a smartphone or an Alexa. Each device allows books to be purchased or downloaded in audio form. For Missouri residents the Wolfner Library provides a free listening device and books on tape to a person by mail. Kansans also have this same service available through the Kansas Talking Library.
There are few simple things you can do to help someone with low vision maintain independence. 1. Don't move furniture around and keep floors clear. This allows them to navigate by memory since it is difficult to see. 2. Provide high contrast during meal times. Having a white plate on a dark placemat helps them tell the difference of the edges. 3. Use raised bright buttons/stickers to mark functions for appliances like the washing machine, dryer, microwave, and even the faucet in shower. These buttons provide tactile feedback letting them know they are choosing the right button or turning it to the right setting. 4. Use large print calendars and address books with a bold writing pen to help them keep appointments and dates independently.
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