12-15% of American seniors have suffered substantial vision loss but this shouldn’t mean that they have to stop having fun.
In fact, if you understand the issues that people with low vision face, then you can support them to find activities that they enjoy.
Our list of activities for seniors with low vision should help give you some great ideas!
Issues That Seniors With Low Vision May Face
It is worth acknowledging that many seniors will be striving for independence and trying to avoid discussing the issues they face.
But they may include:
- Diminishing personal confidence
- A loss of mobility (from falls or the fear of falling)
- Loneliness and social exclusion
- Worrying that they might be a burden on you
- Not knowing that there are support services available
How To Support Seniors With Low Vision
The best way to support a senior with low vision is to communicate effectively with them and remember to:
- Talk at a normal volume, someone with eye problems is usually not deaf
- Don’t change your language, it’s fine to say “look” or “see” in conversation
- Describe where things are verbally, don’t point
- Always identify yourself when you come in to a room
- Don’t be afraid to describe a color, a pattern or a shape
- Don’t be patronizing, someone with eye problems has not become an idiot
- Ask if they want help and how they want that help delivered
- Never speak to a third party as though the senior was not there
- If they need help to get somewhere, give them a verbal update on the terrain
- Treat them with the respect they’ve earned and deserve
Our Favorite Activities For Seniors With Low Vision
Listening To And Engaging With Music
This is pretty easy to go and it can be very comforting to someone with low vision to while away the hours to the hits of their youth or the music of today.
It’s possible to buy radios and playback devices with large, clear buttons to help those with low vision take control of their listening.
Listening To Audiobooks And The Radio
And in a similar vein, audiobooks can be a real boon to the visually impaired. You can get audiobooks from your local library if money’s tight but the best source of audiobooks is Audible.
A few dollars a month gets you access to unlimited books on Audible and a few more allows you to keep some of your favorites, forever, too.
Movement, Exercise and Play
It is vital for seniors to keep moving. Exercise and fitness plays a huge part in our overall life quality and life expectancy.
Workout routines that are gentle and easy to carry out with poor vision such as “chair yoga” are great options for this.
Poor vision doesn’t stop a mind from being active. Telling and sharing jokes can be great fun and it’s sociable. As they say, laughter is the best medicine.
Spending Time In Nature
Depending on the level of vision issues, you may be able to guide them on a walk, or you might need to use a wheelchair to help them benefit from being outside.
Sun and fresh air will make a person feel much more in touch with the world.
Listening To The TV And Videos
If music and audiobooks aren’t cutting it, then shows, particularly documentaries, can be easy enough to follow without seeing the action.
Doing Household Tasks
Household chores won’t do themselves. And doing them will help a person with vision issues feel less helpless.
They can sort silverware, fold laundry, etc. without needing to see too much.
Playing With Animals
There are real health benefits to playing with animals, though the person might need a little assistance in caring for a pet.
Doing Arts And Crafts
Many arts and crafts can be done via a tactile rather than visual experience. Finger painting, clay sculpting, even just scrunching up paper.
Going Out For Coffee Or To Eat
Getting out and about and interacting with other people can greatly boost a visually-impaired senior’s confidence and sense of fun.
Why not pick a restaurant today and take your favorite senior out to lunch? You never know, you might learn something from them too.
Final Thoughts On Activities for Seniors with Low Vision
Low vision isn’t the end of someone’s life and, in fact, there are plenty of activities for seniors with low vision that are fun and compelling.
If you know someone with low vision, why not ask how you can support them, today? And if you have low vision, why not ask someone you trust to help support you?
Seniors with low vision may also appreciate large piece puzzles, riddles to tax their brains and even some of the activities on our list of games for seniors to play.