As we age, so does our vision. In addition to aging, you may experience lower vision due to diagnoses such as Diabetes, Hypertension, or Macular Degeneration. Don’t worry, no matter what is causing issues with vision, there are tools, modifications, and techniques that can help you navigate everyday activities easier as your vision changes. 

Sometimes simple solutions are the best! Many people find simple things that have improved their independence, such as distinguishing between the shampoo and conditioner by putting a rubber band around one. I personally use a solution like this to differentiate between the two because I cannot see anything without my glasses! 

If you have trouble reading, adjusting the contrast is a useful modification. If you have difficulty reading red writing on a white or black background, try adjusting the contrast. Most devices have settings to allow changes in contrast to assist with better visibility. Using a black background with white writing is very visible to some. Yellow or green writing on a blue background can also be more distinguishable to others. Try different contrasts to see what works best for you. 

When you are out in the community at restaurants or other businesses, you can request large print resources. If they do not have large print available, it is okay to advocate for yourself and others and educate the establishment on accessibility and reasonable accommodations.

Adding a tactile indicator to your remote control, telephone, washer, dryer, oven or microwave can be very useful. Puffy fabric paint, puffy decorative stickers and “bump dots” are great tools to add to the most used numbers or dials. These types of indicators are already common on keyboards under the J and F keys, and on remotes and cordless phones on the 5 button. 

If you’re using a smartphone, there are many accessibility features available to you! You can adjust these features in the settings menu of your phone. You can also download helpful applications onto your phone, such as a magnifying app, which is a great tool to assist with the independence that we all strive for. 

Finally, as the days get shorter near the end of summer, it’s important to make sure you have good lighting in any reading area, work area, bathroom and walkways. This will not only improve vision, but also will assist with safety! 

For more information on Assistive Technology, call CareWell Services at 269-441-0949 or email cboyle@carewellservices.org

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