If your senior loved one hasn’t been to an eye doctor in a while, it’s time to get there. Most adults are advised to have an eye exam at least once every two years. Even though they may not notice anything different in their ability to see clearly, there could be problems developing that, when spotted and detected early, can improve the chances of combating them and helping protect their vision into the future.
For an aging senior who may be stubborn, obstinate, or even naïve about the necessity for maintaining good vision health, here are four steps that might help the process along and get them visiting their eye care professional as soon as possible.
Step #1: Discuss safety concerns.
In every home there are safety issues, whether people realize it or not. For an aging senior, the risks are elevated because of limited mobility, more weakness than they had experienced in their younger years, and vision related problems.
If there are specific safety concerns a family member or friend observes, they should discuss these issues openly, honestly, and with some tact.
Step #2: Ask about their ability to see, especially at night.
Visual acuity is often more difficult in the evening and nighttime hours. If an aging senior has difficulty seeing more at night than during the day, there could be something that may be corrected with their vision. However, if they don’t visit an eye care professional, how are they going to know or even treat this potential condition?
Step #3: Talk about the challenges you have when you can’t see well.
People can sometimes feel defensive when they perceive a conversation as an attack on their own abilities. However, when the person talking to them is expressing concerns they have about their own ability, and often tears down some of those walls. That can be a great way to help an aging senior open up to the prospect of visiting an eye care professional.
Step #4: Explain what you’ve seen.
What have you observed directly? Are there any specific examples that indicate this person’s vision is not as acute as it had been not too long ago? If so, be as specific as possible. When somebody realizes others have noticed their frailty or falls, it’s more difficult to hide them.
Be sincere and compassionate when talking about this. Modern medicine is amazing and there could be any number of viable treatment options for cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, or simply weaker eyesight, like myopia, for people as they age.
Angel Alliance Caregivers of Galloway, NJ is dedicated to helping seniors maintain full, independent lives where they most desire to live: in the comfort of their own homes. Call us at (609) 965-0028.