Sight loss doesn’t respect age, gender or religion. Sight loss can happen to anyone at any time. And it can be devastating. Life with sight loss can be a challenge, but that need not be the case. We asked some of Sight Life’s members who already live with sight loss to give us some of their top tips to help you live your best life, regardless of sight loss.
Bright and beautiful
When you’re buying items for your home, choose things that are bright and bold. Go for brightly coloured towels, gardening tools, spectacle cases, drinking glasses, torches, gloves, mobile phone cases. They are much easier to pick out.
Use coloured dots or tactile marking liquid to mark keyholes and on/off switches. They can also be used to mark up cookers and white goods.
Some people find it useful to use a white mug for black coffee and a red bowl for cereal. Others find it better to use a plate with border, so they can tell that food is in the centre of it. Make use of gadgets like liquid level indicators which tell you when a cup if nearly full. Use a dark chopping board for light coloured foods and light coloured chopping board for dark food.
Take your time
Allow extra time so you don’t get flustered. When you rush, you may panic, drop things – and worse still have accidents!
See and be safe
One of our members always walks with her white stick on the side that she has no sight, so other people are aware of her sight loss. If you can, always use a pedestrian crossing to cross roads. Beware of advertising boards on pavements which can cause trip or collision hazards.
Preparation is everything
Plan everything in advance – this can be days or even weeks ahead. This lets you take charge of what you’re doing. When you’re travelling, don’t forget to take into account what the light will be like at different times of day. You may go somewhere in daylight but come home at dusk.
Let there be light
For lots of sight problems, having the correct lighting is important and it can make a huge difference. Maximise or minimise daylight so it suits you with curtains or blinds. Ensure lightbulbs are renewed and never buy cheap ones. LED bulbs or strip lights are effective. Ensure outdoor lighting if you have it is working. Keep torches to hand. Keep a glow in the dark torch next to the bed. Use lamps. Have a stand-alone or a clip on work light to angle into cupboards so you can see inside them. Extra lighting in the kitchen is helpful. Peaked caps can prevent glare on bright days.
Organisation is key
Be super organised. Mark dark clothes with an initial on the label – B (black), G (green), N (navy). Buy plain black socks from the same shop so you always have a matching pair. Label tablets and medication in a bold marker pen to prevent confusion. Have a system to recognise your toiletries in the bathroom. Put your shampoo in a pump dispenser, your conditioner in a black bottle and use bright liquid shower gel. Turn your toothbrush on its side to make putting toothpaste on it easier.
A place for everything
Keep a large calendar handy to keep all your memos and important dates together. Use a pen with a medium or heavy flow of ink to write notes. Keep surfaces clutter free if you can. Keep everyday items in the same place so you don’t have to search frantically for your keys, the remote control, pens or scissors.
Sight loss with style
When you go into a shop to buy clothes, ask a shop assistant what colour ‘tag’ represents your size to save you asking for your size all the time. Buying clothes, try to buy outfits so if you buy a pair of trousers buy a top to match at the same time. When you put things in the wardrobe, always put the same colours together, or buy sheets of tactile stickers (flowers, butterflies, etc) and put them on your hangers, so black clothes are on a hanger with pink flower stickers, etc. If you wear earrings, use one of the one a day pill pots to keep the pairs together.
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