Older adults often experience chronic and acute vision loss for various reasons. These issues can affect their overall quality of life, including the ability to age in place. However, with healthy lifestyle choices, older adults can stave off visual impairment. Here are some things family caregivers can do to help their senior loved ones maintain healthy eyes.
Promote a Healthy Diet
Green leafy vegetables, seafood, and fresh berries can help aging adults enhance their eyesight and prevent blindness. When creating a meal plan for your loved one, make sure to include these foods, in addition to other healthy food choices. The ingredients found in mustard greens, kale, spinach, and other leafy green vegetables play a protective role in fighting age-related macular degeneration. When your loved one eats blueberries, bilberries, and other berries, he or she will receive antioxidant properties necessary for the eyes to adapt to the light. Some seafood contains omega-3 fatty acids that prevent eye disease.
Some seniors need assistance managing a healthy diet. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care. Birmingham Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
Encourage Regular Exercise
Staying active naturally preserves heart health and memory, and it can protect eyesight as well. In addition to eye exercises, your loved one should do physical exercises to maintain healthy eyes. Moderate exercises such as a 30-minute walk can prevent hypertension and enhance blood flow to the retina and optic nerve, which can reduce the risk of glaucoma and other vision-related conditions. When seniors stop exercising, their eye health will go back to its current condition. Therefore, your loved one should continue exercising, even if it’s only for a few days each week.
Provide Protective Sunglasses
Focusing on objects and people while outdoors can boost vision and prevent issues such as nearsightedness. However, it is important to protect the eyes from ultraviolet rays while outdoors. Regardless if your loved one is going outdoors for a few minutes or for longer, he or she will need to wear sunglasses to reduce the risk of cataracts. Wearing protective eyewear can prevent growths near the eyes, as well as age-related macular degeneration.
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. Birmingham families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
Offer Reminders About Eye Doctor Visits
Many seniors assume they are in good health and skip out on doctor visits as a result. Even if your loved one doesn’t have any eye issues, he or she should continue visiting the eye doctor at least once per year. During these visits, the doctor can conduct testing to find subtle eye issues that often go unnoticed. Catching the issues early on will allow your loved one to receive immediate treatment and increase his or her odds of maintaining good eyesight. An eye doctor can also provide cleaning tips that enhance eyesight, such as washing the eyes with cold water in the morning to remove waste that has built up during the night.
Poor eyesight can make it challenging to age in place. Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Birmingham seniors can depend on. Call one of our Care Managers at (205) 438-6925 to learn about our customized in-home care plans.