How to Help a Senior Loved One with Vision or Hearing Loss
For most of us, some decrease in vision or hearing is expected as we age. In fact, around 63% of adults over 70 have some level of hearing loss, while nearly 30% have vision impairment. These conditions typically start off as minor inconveniences, forcing seniors to rely on reading glasses or turn up the volume on the TV, but they can eventually reduce quality of life significantly if not addressed.
Fortunately, there are a variety of medical and tech devices, as well as treatment options, that can help seniors maintain their independence and quality of life. If your senior loved one is experiencing hearing or vision loss, here’s how you can help.
Make Accommodations and Home Modifications
The first step in caring for a senior loved one with vision or hearing loss is to ensure that their living environment accommodates their limitations. For example, adding additional lighting fixtures or increasing the wattage of lightbulbs in their home can help them navigate safely and easily if they have vision impairment. Simple changes like using high-contrast colors for light switches and door handles can also make a huge difference.
Reducing background noises can be helpful for those with hearing difficulties. For instance, you could replace noisy air filter devices with modern, nearly silent ones. There are also phones, doorbells, fire alarm systems, and more that use flashing lights or strobes instead of sounds to accommodate the hearing impaired.
Introduce Helpful Technology and Assistive Devices
Technology for those with sensory impairments has advanced far beyond the old bulky hearing aids and giant magnifying glasses. For vision loss, tools like talking clocks, e-book devices with adjustable text, and screen-reading software for smartphones, computers, and tablets can be a huge help. When it comes to hearing loss, there are all kinds of different hearing aids available to suit every style, need, and preference.
Monitor Treatments and Progression
Sometimes vision or hearing loss is caused by a condition that has a cure. For example, vision loss may be the result of cataracts, which are typically highly treatable.
On the other hand, they can also be a symptom of something far more serious. So it’s important to make sure your loved one is visiting their doctors regularly to monitor the progression of their sensory impairments and identify the underlying causes.
With regular eye exams and hearing tests, it’s easier to track changes over time and make adjustments to prescriptions for assistive devices that may be covered by your loved one’s health insurance.
Provide Emotional and Physical Support
Seniors with vision or hearing loss may have difficulty getting around or interacting with others. So physical support, like driving them to appointments, guiding them in unfamiliar environments, or ensuring they’re included in social situations can go a long way in helping them maintain their quality of life.
However, the emotional impact of sensory loss is often as significant as the physical challenges. Seniors often feel isolated or frustrated due to their impairments, so it’s important to be patient, understanding, and supportive as they navigate these challenges.
How Right Hand Care Can Help Seniors With Sensory Impairments
Sensory impairments can make it difficult for seniors to maintain their independence and quality of life, but there are modern solutions that can make things easier. Technology and medical devices have come a long way, as have treatment options, and with the right physical and emotional support, your senior loved one can still lead a fulfilling life.
If your loved one has vision or hearing loss that’s affecting their daily lives, Right Hand Care can help. We offer affordable in-home care services tailored to meet the individual needs of each senior, ensuring they receive the support they need in the comfort of their own home. Whether it’s assisting with daily activities, providing companionship, or ensuring a safe living environment, Right Hand Care’s compassionate caregivers are here to help.
To learn more about our services or to set up a care plan, contact us today.
We are Superheroes in Comfortable Clothes™
We take care of our clients, their families, our staff, and our league of franchise owners.