Low Vision

Table of Contents

Low vision is a scary thing, but the situation is far from hopeless. With proper planning you can maintain a good quality of life. We recommend that you see a Low Vision Specialist. We will recommend one for you.

Here are some useful tips:

• To live your life to its fullest, it is very important that you do not focus on what you can no longer do. You must focus on what you can do. Your attitude, and adaptation to your new circumstances, is very important in maintaining your quality of life.
• Decide what activities you enjoy most; then make them “doable”. Avoid abandoning hobbies.
• Simplify your environment. De-clutter your home and working area. Get rid of anything you don’t really need. Organize what is left. Keep each item in a predetermined place. Return it to the same place after use.
• Arrange things so there is a lot of contrast between them (Examples: Use dishes and glasses of solid light color on a dark table; Paint the door a different color or shade than the wall). It will make them easier to spot. Such contrasting objects will also help you orient yourself better in the room.
• Try different types of lighting (halogen, incandescent or fluorescent lights; Sunlight is best). Fluorescent lights tend to create glare and be uncomfortable.
• Bright light, aimed right at the area where it is needed, often works best. To do this a goose-neck lamp aimed over the shoulder from behind works well.
• Find about low-vision computer enhancements.
• Ask for help. This does not mean that you have to let someone else do everything for you. But do ask for help when you really need it.
• Be patient. It takes months or even a year, to adapt to whatever is going on.

In the kitchen:

• Pare down what you have in your cabinets and on your shelves to what you really need.
• Get a reversible cutting board (one side white/other side black) for safer slicing.
Keep fingertips curled under when slicing, or buy fish-cleaning steel-mesh gloves.
• Replace clear glass measuring cups with solid colored ones.
• Practice measuring ingredients directly into your hand.
• Mark common settings on appliances with textured paint or glue a bead or some similar object.
• Place the pan on the burner before turning on the stovetop.
• Before reaching into a lit oven, use a fork or spoon to tap and feel where the rack is located.
• Use long oven mittens whenever working in a lit oven.
• Differentiate bottled foods from bottled cleaning products by using distinctive bottles.
• Consider newspaper reading network, talking books, magazine articles on tape and large print publications available from many publishers.

Personal assistants:

If you wish to hire a personal assistant you might want to read “Managing Personal Assistants: A Consumer Guide” by Paralyzed Veterans of America. People with Multiple Sclerosis may find this book particularly valuable. It provides information on sources of help, hiring of help, tax information and contains useful forms.