As a patient ages certain diseases can cause a patient to have a decrease in visual acuity. Diseases affecting vision are cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. Always ask the patient how well they can see, if they see shapes, colors, or shadows.
Used to assess a patient’s visual acuity. Have the patient stand 20 feet away, starting with the first line have them read you the letters.
If a patient has corrective lenses, have them remove them for the initial part of the vision test, and then have them repeat the test with the corrective lenses.
Assist the patient while ambulating. Offer your arm for them to hold and describe your movement and any upcoming objects.
Do not rely on non-verbal communication or gestures to communicate with the patient. Verbalize everything and print information in black and white with large font.
Educate the patient to keep their house well lit, have unbreakable dishes, and use large print labels. Make sure rugs are secure and their environment is free of clutter.
Educate the patient that is able to still see color, to have different medications in different colored pill bottles. Inform them of different technology that provides auditory information, such as a smartphone telling the patient the time.
When placing food in front of the patient describe the location of the food by imagining the plate is a clock. Example: the french fries are at 2 o’clock, the steak pieces at 6 o’clock, and the broccoli at 10 o’clock.
It is important to teach family members to keep household items in the same location, so the patient knows where they are. Buy books in large print or Braille, and keep the floors free of clutter.
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