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Home Safety Checklist for Failing Vision

Proper Lighting Makes a Big Difference

  • use many light sources evenly distributed around the room
  • minimize shadows with consistent lighting
  • make sure bulb wattage is high enough
  • put light switches on the outside of rooms so that the older person never has to fumble around in a dark room
  • use three-way bulbs & dimmer switches to control light intensity
  • put nightlights in hallways, the bedroom & the bathroom
  • put intense light at the top & bottom of staircase & steps
  • under cabinet lighting can be helpful in kitchen work areas

Cut Out Glare

  • use sheer curtains or blinds in rooms that take in bright sunlight
  • don’t use fluorescent lights; they produce more glare than incandescent
  • don’t use wax on floors, and use low-gloss wax on furniture
  • cover or discard shiny furniture or counter surfaces; paint walls with matte-finished paint

Create Contrasts with Color and Pattern

  • contrasts should be used in the design of all rooms; the walls should be a different color than the floor, and also the furniture; staircases should contrast with other flooring
  • light objects should go on dark surfaces, or vice versa; for instance, a telephone should contrast with the bedside table
  • mark edges of steps & stairs with light paint or tape
  • put glow-in-the-dark, brightly colored tape around light switches, doorknobs, and keyholes
  • use light-colored mugs & cookingware when pouring hot liquids
  • use colored containers & dishes; clear glass “disappears”.