The loss of vision increases gradually with age. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the leading cause of blindness and low vision is cataracts. At least half of the people above the age of 75 years have cataracts.
People with visual impairment are more susceptible to falls. Statistics show that more accidents happen at home than anywhere else. Therefore, people with visual impairments must maintain strong safety habits at home.
Here are some practical ways to make a home safer for people with visual impairment.
- Eliminate Slipping Hazards
Slipping and tripping are the greatest risks for visually impaired persons. In preventing these accidents, remove non-essential furniture items like side tables, magazine racks, and floor plants. Fix the extension cables to the walls and keep the electric cables tidy with a zip tape or tie.
- Improve the Lighting at Home
Having enough light at home is beneficial to people with visual impairment. It helps those with low vision to make maximum use of the remaining sights.
Inadequate lighting increases the possibility of falls and accidental knocks. In doing so, it reduces your ability to navigate safely at home.
But that’s not all! Lighting is an effective tool in fighting crime.
- Work on The Outdoors
We all desire to be independent. We want to do everything we want by ourselves. People with visual impairment are no different. They want possible independence inside and around their homes.
Installing access tile detectable warning tiles around the compound helps achieve this objective. The tiles act as a guide, which means that they don’t have to trouble their caretakers all the time.
- Label All Kitchen Appliances
The kitchen is the heart of every home. People spend a lot of time here cooking, eating, and doing the dishes. The good thing is, one can tailor-make their kitchen for blind and partially blind people.
The exercise should ensure that all appliances are easily accessible. For instance, you can place the sinks and countertops at waist level. Also, use tactile assistance systems to label your kitchen appliances.
Further, always close the drawers and cabinets after use. Also, clean up any spills immediately to minimize the risk of falls.
- Prepare for an Emergency
Always be prepared for any kind of emergency. First, ensure that your fire and carbon monoxide alarms are functional.
You can also install alarm bells to warn you of any potential dangers. Take your time to consistently check that the batteries are charged and that the alarm is working.
Make sure you know the safety procedures to follow in case of an emergency like fire or theft. For instance, ensure you know where the landline handset is, especially if you don’t have a mobile phone. Further, keep your door keys safely and at an accessible place.
Visual impairment takes on different variations and levels of sight loss. It can be either be partial or complete blindness. With visual impairment, it is necessary to make some changes to improve the safety and comfort in your home.