Our parents are so important in our lives. Their love and support get us through moments big and small – from scrapped elbows to breakups. But what if your parent is dealing with the loss of their eyesight? Watching a parent struggle with this can be worrying, but with time, affection, and love, you can help your parent adjust to their visual impairment.
It is important to remember, that while your parent will need assistance, they have the freedom to use as much of their skills as possible. When everyday tasks like cooking and cleaning are not used, those skills are eventually lost. Rehabilitation services are a good way to allow your parent to learn how to navigate their surroundings, continue to do their laundry, cook for themselves, and more. The key is giving them as much independence as possible, while also assisting them with whatever help they need.
As time goes on, your parent will be able to adjust to their sight. Maintaining a clean space to avoid tripping hazards and frequently used items nearby is key to creating a welcoming environment for your parent. In addition, tools such as screen readers for smartphones and magnifiers for reading can assist your parent in engaging with the world around them.
Another factor to be aware of is adjusting how you communicate with your parent. You will need to minimize their use of visual cues and transition into favoring the use of verbal cues. Instead of pointing at an object, it is would be better to tell them the general direction of the object while assisting them if needed. This can also carry over into people entering the room. Your parent may not recognize who is there with voice alone, so introducing yourself when entering the room is important.
Losing your eyesight can be emotionally taxing without the proper support. The loss of vision can lead to depression, anxiety, and PTSD, but building a strong support group for your parent can combat those feelings. As a caretaker, encourage an environment where your parent feels comfortable talking about their feeling and needs. It is also important to make sure that your parent is exercising and eating a balanced diet. Healthy diets and physical activity are vital to maintaining their strength and keeping any remaining sight.
While it is important to check in on the health of your parent, your health just as important. Watching your parent go through this struggle can also be taxing on you as well. Be sure to maintain a healthy diet and check in on your mental state. Feel free to ask others for help when needed. The best way to provide the best care for your parent is taking care of yourself.[MM1]
While adjusting to the loss of your eyesight is physically and emotionally draining, with the correct amount of support, time and patience, parents can live a life with a healthy level of independence.