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Guide to Living Independently

First Steps After Vision Loss

After Diagnosis: What now?

Recently diagnosed with vision loss and unsure where to turn??
We have many resources here at your fingertips, just clicks away from helping you move forward with a new plan of action. (Visit our store, our blog, our Guides to Living Independently, and our Resource Center.) The technology and information available today is expanding to accommodate your needs to have minimal impact on your day to day activities. We're here to help and support your new journey! 

This guide on First Steps After Vision Loss is designed to bring you the following kinds of information:
---What To Do Now
---Resources For Going Forward
---Peer Related Articles
---How We Can Help


What To Do Now:  A New Journey (with Tips from the AFB)

As with any new health diagnosis, changes are on the horizon.  As frightening as change can be for a lot of people, it doesn’t have to overwhelm you to put those changes into place.  After you’re more settled on your new reality, then it’s a good idea to sit down and make a working list of what things you’ll need to do to adapt to the new way of living.  Take some time to think about the aspects of your daily living that will be affected by it and concoct your plan of attack.  Here we will go over a few items to get you started on adapting your home for your new journey.

Let’s start with one element that can help shed some light on the diminished capacity you may now have.  You guessed it, lighting. Properly installed and upgraded lighting can help eliminate accidents that will inevitably happen otherwise.  Some ways to get started:
  • Switch out your bulbs to ones that are closer to emulating natural light. Reducing items that cause glare can go a long way in helping you see things more clearly. Of course any time you can let natural sunlight in, that’s a bonus.
  • Using mini blinds are a great way to reduce glare as well.
  • Creating a dull surface to reduce glare from light reflection is yet another great way to help this area. An example of this would be using a dull wax instead of shiny finish eliminates potential glare/bright spots.  
  • Install extra lighting in areas that might be without light or have minimal lighting.  A couple of examples would be hallways or stairwells and closets that are frequently used.
  • Make sure that all access to the light sources are easily attainable.  Being able to reach the switch immediately inside a door frame or even from your bed can help cut out the guess work of fumbling around in further darkness.  Installing a device that would allow you to turn lights on or off by clapping or even a remote device would go a long way in this area.
Cleaning up after yourself should be common sense and likely already a part of your daily living, but now it plays a larger role in helping eliminate hazards.  If you were a little lackadaisical about doing a few little mundane cleaning things, it’s probably time to up the ante a bit. 
--Keeping cabinet doors closed
--Finding a new spot for shoes, clothes or anything that doesn’t have a “home”, and ending up strewn across the floor at the end of the day
--Switch to a different solution for your hardwood floors that make them less slippery
--Use bright colored markers for things such as your thermostat for your normal settings.
Not that anyone necessarily NEEDS an excuse to redecorate, but this is one. 
  • Move items around so that there are contrasting colors to help things “pop”.
  • Place dark colored items against light colored backgrounds or vice versa.
  • Go for a sleeker look that doesn’t involve busy patterns or small intricate ones. These can often be hard on the eyes even with the best of vision.
  • Any place that can help the functioning parts of your home stand out and can be changed, change it.
Be Organized
Most of all, to help with the entire task of adapting your home, be organized.  It’s a good start to have your list organized, but organization of the items in your house can be a life saver. Labels and like item storage areas are a good start.  As they say, “A place for everything and everything it its place.”

By following these few tips, you are taking the first steps to making your home the same comfortable, safe home you’ve always loved.