The following recommendations are suggested
for adapting your home or apartment, including safety measures.
Recommendations came from consumers and suggestions from the
American Foundation for the Blind. Most adaptations are low-cost
or no cost. As you consider appropriate adaptations, remember
that they depend on the type and extent of your vision loss,
as well as personal needs and preferences.
Lighthouse International also offers a helpful kit
The low vision experts at Lighthouse International have created a national campaign through an unrestricted educational grant from Genentech, Inc., to promote safety, independence, and accessibility in the home. This campaign entails online content, plus a printed kit filled with useful information and products To learn more about the kit, or to order a copy, click here: http://forms.lighthouse.org/event/livingbetter.
- A chair by the window makes a
good work space for some partially sighted persons. Be sure
to make the most of natural light by using sheer or light
curtains or adjustable blinds. Placing a chair by the window
for reading may be desirable. Also good overhead lighting
is the most even type of lighting and causes the least glare.
It is also helpful to use lamps to supplement overhead lighting,
especially near work spaces. Similarly, mirrors should be
placed where they can be used to advantage because in the
wrong places they create glare. Use diverse colors for lamps
if that's helpful for locating them.
- Using color
contrasting is helpful to
partially sighted persons to differentiate between spaces.
For instance, contrasting flooring or different colored
area rugs helps define a room change. And colored flatware
can offset your plates and bowls. Anything from bath towels
to different colored paint for doors and door handles can
define space more clearly. Furniture with a contrasting
color scheme and different textures is also helpful.
- Good organization
is vital to persons with complete blindness or visual impairments,
from keeping furniture in a regular place to remembering
where everything is located. Of course sharp objects like
knives or scissors must be accounted for. You may even consider
using a database. Microsoft
Access software is easiest
for use by persons with blindness or visual impairments.
Create a database of your home inventory or other things,
such as books in your library. Be sure to keep track of
prescription bottles and label them. Always know where your
telephones and fire extinguisher are located.
- Do not place furniture in hallways or
places that get a lot of walking traffic.
- Make sure you have a non-skid
foam rubber mat under each area rug.
Avoid small throw rugs altogether because it's too easy
to slip and fall on one. Avoid using wax on floors or selecting
glossy flooring. Some people even prefer to mark the edges
of stairs with non-skid adhesive rubber strips or painting
a contrasting color to the rise portion of the step itself.
Install a handrail on all sets of stairs; always hold onto
the handrail just in case you lose your footing.
- Make sure all electrical
cords are taped down or stored out of the way. Why
- Keep cabinet, closet,
and interior doors all the
way open or all the way closed so you won't bump into them.
Keep chairs pushed in.
- As an added precaution, buy an
for the shower for yourself or anyone who is elderly living
in your home, as skin can become less sensitive with age.