Taking care of an elderly relative’s eyes is just as important as the rest of their body. Family caregivers who are responsible for their aging loved one should take advantage of National Eye Exam Month, observed every August, and make eye care and eye health a priority. There’s no better time for seniors to get a thorough eye exam to maintain good vision and detect any symptoms of serious eye diseases.
Senior Eye Health Issues
Like many other parts of the body, the eyes are more susceptible to disease and decline with age. Aging adults are very likely to develop serious eye diseases. Glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, detached retinas and more can make elderly adults partially or fully blind. Regular eye exams are especially important for seniors because many eye diseases have no obvious symptoms, except by a professional in an optical setting.
It’s very possible that during the eye exam, the doctor will observe signs of common age-related eye diseases. Early treatment for eye disease can lead to slowing down the progress of the disease, but often cannot halt it, resulting in vision loss. If there is a diagnosis, treatment should begin immediately, and family caregivers must work with their aging loved one to make some lifestyle changes.
Adaptive Lifestyle Changes for Vision-Impaired Seniors
Helping an aging loved one adapt to their vision-impaired reality often includes hiring a senior care provider. The professional senior care provider assists the senior with daily tasks that are difficult to do without good vision. From meal prep and housekeeping to helping with bathing, dressing and grooming, the senior care provider can work with the aging adult to be as self-reliant as possible while still assisting. The senior care provider also lends practical support to the elderly adult with anything else they may struggle with while they still live at home due to other conditions or ailments.
The senior care provider can also assess the living conditions in the home and help the aging adult make improvements that keep them comfortable and safe. They can increase the lighting, add more lamps, organize cupboards and pantries, provide magnifiers, set up audio devices as needed and watch for obstacles and tripping hazards. Senior care providers can also drive elderly adults when their vision no longer allows them to do so on their own.
Family caregivers who haven’t thought much about their aging relative’s eye heath should use National Eye Exam Month to motivate them to contact the eye doctor and schedule an exam. Annual eye appointments should definitely be a priority for elderly adults. If there is a diagnosis, both family caregivers and their aging relatives will be able to prepare for what the future may bring. It’s far too important to neglect eye exams, because elderly adults need as much vision support as they can get.