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Everyday Tips on using low vision aids

‘A place for everything and everything in its place’ is a good motto. If you can learn to be organised in where you put things as well as others who live with you, this will make life a little easier. This might be a complete change to the way you think but if you can put an item in the most appropriate place and it is always put back in that place it will mean you always know where to find it.


Sight loss can also be helped by making things easier to see. This can often be achieved by making things Bigger, Brighter or Bolder. The tips outlined below are grouped by which ‘B’ they might help.


Bolder


  • Using a coloured electrical socket or plug can help it to be seen.
  • Putting a coloured mark on a light switch to view it and/or adding a raised part so that it can be felt can aid vision.
  • Writing with a felt-tip or fibre tip pen can produce higher contrast letters than a ball point pen.
  • You can also have lined paper with thicker and darker lines than normal.
  • A white tissue could be placed on a dark tablecloth to help locate dark objects placed there such as a purse or spectacle case.
  • White cups for hot dark drinks such as tea and coffee. Tea or coffee should be poured in before the milk as the white milk would not be seen.
  • Tools could be carried around the house or garden in a white bucket so that they are not lost and can be seen against the background.
  • Where possible decoration should include pale carpets and walls to reflect the available light and to contrast with dark furniture. Pure white walls may cause glare and be uncomfortable though. Matt paint will avoid the glare of shiny, gloss paint.
  • A border stuck around the edge of the room can help to make the walls stand out.
  • Dark contrasting door knobs will be more easily seen on a light surface and may stop a person bumping into the door.
  • To make doors stand out, paint the door a contrasting colour to the door frame and having the frame a contrasting colour to the wall will also make it easier to see.
  • Fix a contrasting colour edge strip to your stairs to make each step stand out more.
  • In the kitchen, painting or putting contrasting colour edges on work surfaces will make the edges stand out.
  • Contrasting colours can aid vision such as dark vegetables peeled or chopped on a white board, sponge cake mixture in a dark-coloured bowl but chocolate cake mixture in a light-coloured bowl.
  • Pale crockery will be seen best against a dark tablecloth or surface – if using a white table cloth use crockery with a dark colour or dark edge band.
  • Food should be arranged on a contrasting colour plate e.g. carrots on a white plate, fish on a dark plate.
  • Use kitchen utensils that are not matched with different colour handles. If those you have are all the same colour, coloured tape could be wrapped around the handles.


Bigger


  • Using a reading stand which can be variably tilted provides a firm surface on which to place reading material. This can make the reading position more comfortable for someone who may have to be very close to what they are reading and may help them to get used to a new and different position to the one they are used to.
  • A double-ended clamp can be used to hold a hand magnifier in position and fixed to a table so that it is used like a stand magnifier.
  • Products with large numbers and print can be an aid such as large print books, watches and clocks with large numbers, a telephone with large numbers.
  • Normal sized text could be enlarged using a photocopier to make it easier to see e.g. for a recipe.
  • Watching Television you could move your chair closer to help to see and this does not hurt your eyes.


Brighter


  • Using a lamp which is adjusted so the light is directly on the page can aid viewing.
  • Keep the levels of lighting in your home the same as far as possible because it can take longer to adjust to different levels of light with low vision.
  • If light outside is too bright use coloured filter or tinted spectacles with side shields or clip ons.
  • In the kitchen fix spotlights or fluorescent strip lights to shelf units or cupboards so that they shine directly on the work surface.
  • Ensure windows are clean and curtains pulled back to let in maximum light.
  • If you are sitting near a window ensure that the light comes over your shoulder to the task you are doing.
  • Making sure there is no reflection or glare can help your view and ensuring the correct amount of light for optimal viewing.
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