If you are like many people, you may take your senses, like vision, for granted. When you are on a home care journey with your elderly parent, however, you can no longer think that way. It is important that you pay close attention to the risks that face your aging parent and what you can do within your home care efforts to protect them from these risks.
January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month. This is the ideal opportunity for you to learn more about the risks that could impact your parent’s eyes and what you can do to help reduce these risks, guard their eyes, and keep their vision as strong as possible.
Use these tips to help you keep your parent’s eyes healthy and their vision strong:
Visit the Eye Doctor Regularly
Make sure that your aging parent visits the eye doctor at least once a year for a thorough eye exam. There may be some health concerns or symptoms that could indicate a need for more frequent exams, so make sure that you understand this need and being them to the doctor as often as necessary.
Get a Dilated Eye Exam Regularly
In addition to your parent getting routine eye exams regularly, make sure that they also get dilated eye exams. During this type of exam the eye doctor administers eye drops that dilate the pupil. This allows the doctor to look into the eye to examine the retina. This allows the doctor to detect damage and other eye issues that are not readily recognizable without this type of exam. It is important to note that this type of exam will leave your parent’s vision somewhat blurry for several hours and it is not safe for them to drive or perform any tasks requiring sharp, reliable vision.
You might not immediately think about your parent’s overall health when it comes to keeping their eyes healthy. The truth, however, is that encouraging a healthy lifestyle and a healthy body is an important step in protecting their eye health and vision. Encourage your parent to eat a healthy, balanced diet, get enough physical activity, and maintain a healthy weight. All of these will reduce the risk that your parent will develop a serious eye disease or problem.
Being healthy is not just about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It is also important that you are aware of the chronic health conditions that your aging parent has and know how to manage them. Taking care of these health conditions, including diabetes, MS, and hypertension, helps to reduce the chances that they will experience eye health problems including glaucoma, retinopathy, and blindness.
Protect Their Eyes
Make sure that your parent is guarding their eyes during all potentially dangerous activities. During tasks such as taking care of the lawn or woodworking your parent should always wear goggles or work glasses. If they are going to be exposed to the sun, they should wear UVA/UVB protecting sunglasses that will help prevent sun damage that can lead to serious eye health problems and eye diseases.
If you or an aging loved one are in need or considering care: Call Activa Home Health today @ 561-359-0824.