Modifying Your House to Deal With Degenerating Vision
If you or a loved one has a condition that will result in degenerating sight over time you might like to make some modifications in order to make sure that your house is suitable for as long as possible. Here are some tips on how to modify your home.
One of the most important ways to maximise sight in areas is to make sure that you have good overhead lighting. Particular areas to ensure are well lit include the kitchen benches where you will be prepping food and in home office or study areas where you might be reading and lounge rooms where you might be watching screens. It's also a good idea to ensure that any areas where the floor level changes, such as doorsteps, are well lit for ease of navigating around the house.
Large print labels
For items that are labelled, such as the oven, dishwasher or microwave, it's a good idea to ensure that you have the largest print possible. You can also find controllers that have different amounts of raised dots at the different settings so that user can feel the relative settings. While it might not give exact measurements, over time it can allow the user to sense the differences (ie that an 180 degree setting on the stove is about halfway between the 2 and 3 dot settings). It's also a good idea to do this for hot and cold taps throughout the house.
High contrast items
While it can be very chic to have items that all in the same tonal group, as vision gets worse it can make it harder to gauge the difference between similar sizes and coloured items such as toilet cisterns and sinks. This can make it harder for a person with lower vision to perform basic self-care tasks and can often be very embarrassing for the person. Try to ensure that kitchen, bathrooms, bedroom and lounge fittings have enough contrast that the rooms can be easily navigated even under lower vision conditions.
If you or a family member has a degenerative vision condition it can be a good idea to review your current home set up to see which items might need to be modified. It can be a good idea to get some expert guidance as you contemplate the job, from a company that specialises in similar home modifications and occupational therapy and has experience with these sorts of jobs.