How In-Home Care Helps Those with Glaucoma
January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month. This serious optical condition refers to a group of diseases that damage the optic nerve, and often those who have it are unaware because of its lack of symptoms. Although this dangerous eye disease can touch people of all ages, but it is most common in the elderly. Unfortunately, of the reported 2.2 million Americans who have it, only about half of them are aware, according to a Today’s Geriatric Medicine publication. For this reason, it’s crucial to book annual eye exams to detect glaucoma before it leads to blindness.
Caregiving for the Vision-Impaired
If your elderly loved one has glaucoma, especially if they have lost some or all vision, they may benefit greatly from in-home care. That’s because an in-home caregiver can help their clients handle everyday tasks, keep physically active, and have the highest possible quality of life. A caregiver can also seek help from your loved one’s physician to ensure they get the best care that suits their needs. While some seniors may think assisted living is their only choice if they lose their sight so they can be monitored around the clock, many prefer to stay in their own homes and maintain as much independence as possible while living with visual impairment.
Home care support can help the visually impaired, including those with glaucoma, by:
- Helping their client bathe, groom, dress, and use the toilet
- Getting around the house and other locations
- Reading and accessing information
- Managing household tasks, like light housekeeping and cooking
- Organizing household items for safety, including keeping sharp objects out of reach
A good in-home caregiver knows the “do’s and don’ts” of working with a visually impaired client. For example, they should be compassionate and listen to your elderly loved one’s needs and requests. They should clearly identify themselves and use their name when beginning a new conversation, especially if they are in a room with multiple people. Also, caregivers will not touch their client without permission, such as taking them by the arm if they do not wish to be touched.
The Importance of Annual Eye Exams to Detect Glaucoma Early
Keeping annual eye exam appointments is important, even if you don’t feel any eye pain or visual changes. Left untreated, glaucoma inevitably leads to blindness, making it important to catch at its earliest stages. However, sometimes it’s difficult to recognize if there are few or no symptoms. Many with glaucoma experience a feeling of pressure in one eye, and other symptoms may include difficulty adjusting to difference in light, difficulty focusing, double or blurred vision, excessive tearing, light sensitivity, and seeing halos around lights. While treatment may be as simple as eye drops, the condition cannot be cured. However, blindness can be prevented by following an ophthalmologist’s orders.
To reach At Home Healthcare to discuss your loved one’s needs for in-home care, please call us today at (877) 959-9093.