Seniors tend to neglect their eye health until something goes wrong, but there are positive steps your elderly loved one can take to maintain eye health as he or she ages. Here are five easy tips to help your loved one protect his or her eyesight.
1. Get a Yearly Exam
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends adults older than age 65 get annual vision screenings. These screenings can help eye doctors diagnose diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma in their earlier stages, which gives your loved one the chance to treat the condition promptly and slow the progress of vision loss. If your loved one is diabetic, yearly checkups are especially important.
Seniors with severe vision impairment may need assistance to be able to continue living at home. For many seniors in Philadelphia, PA, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness.
2. Eat More Vegetables
Lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidants found in the foods seniors should eat, particularly green vegetables. These foods prevent macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in seniors. The key is to eat a wide variety of vegetables in many forms. Orange and yellow vegetables, dark leafy greens, and egg yolks provide the antioxidants needed to reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration. Capers, garlic, onions, and shallots are rich sources of cysteine, lecithin, and sulfur, which protect the lenses of the eyes from cataracts and reverse night blindness.
3. Use Safety Goggles
Many people don’t wear safety goggles because they think an accident will never happen to them, but many seniors have sustained eye injuries while engaging in hobbies, using chemicals to clean, and performing mundane tasks such as cutting the grass. Make sure your loved one’s goggles have side shields for further protection.
If your loved one is living with vision problems and needs assistance with daily tasks, help is available. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality elderly home care. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.
4. Wear Sunglasses
Seniors who like to spend time outdoors need to protect their eyes from the sun’s rays because they can cause macular degeneration and cataracts. High-quality sunglasses that provide 100 percent protection against both UVA and UVB rays can make a difference, and wearing them is especially important if your loved one reads outside or spends extended time outdoors for other reasons. Squinting is a poor substitute for proper protection and can also lead to headaches. Wraparound sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat provide additional protection.
5. Keep Blood Sugar in Check
Diabetic retinopathy destroys eyesight by weakening the blood vessels around the eyes and causing them to leak. It can also cause swelling around the eyes, or there may be no symptoms aside from decreased vision. Your loved one may need to lose weight, start a doctor-recommended diet plan, and exercise regularly to prevent diabetes and potential related vision loss. If your loved one has diabetes, help him or her take steps to control blood sugar through diet, exercise, weight loss, and medication as needed.
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. Philadelphia families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. Call Home Care Assistance today at (215) 645-4663 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.