June is Cataract Awareness Month.
As a family caregiver, this is an ideal opportunity for you to take steps to help reduce the risk your parent will suffer from cataracts. While there is no sure way to completely prevent the development of cataracts, taking certain steps can reduce the risk, and can even slow the development of them.
Some ways you can help to protect your aging parent’s vision by reducing the risk of cataracts include:
- Encourage your aging parent to visit their eye doctor regularly. Regular visits allow a doctor to monitor your parent’s eye health and detect changes that could indicate the earliest stages of cataracts. This enables them to recommend a treatment and management approach that is right for your senior parent.
- If your parents smoke, encourage them to stop. Smoking increases the pressure within the eye and is shown to increase the risk of developing cataracts as well as other eye health issues. Talk to the doctor about safe and effective ways they can quit smoking.
- Work with your parent to make sure they are managing their other health problems effectively. If they are suffering from diabetes or high blood pressure, for example, their risk for developing cataracts is increased. Not managing these health issues effectively further increases this risk, and can also put them at greater risk of more serious consequences. the personalized services of an elderly care provider can be instrumental in assisting at your parent with proper management of their health issues.
- Make sure your parent wears sunglasses anytime they will be exposed to the sun. Look for sunglasses with broad-spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays. Glasses that curve around the sides of the eyes and the feature of large lenses are most effective at blocking rays that may come from an angle or above.
- Encourage your aging parent to eat a healthy, balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables. The antioxidants contained within these foods can protect eye health and reduce the risk of problems such as cataracts.
The low vision that can result from cataracts and other eye health problems can make a dramatic difference in your parents quality of life, health, and safety.
Fortunately, starting elderly care for them can be a highly effective and meaningful way to help your parent cope with these issues. An elderly home care services provider can be in the home with your senior on a customized schedule to provide highly personalized services designed to help your parent cope with diminished vision while still maintaining as much independence and activity as possible. Services such as physical support and assistance, help with personal care tasks and housekeeping tasks, and support in making good lifestyle choices can help your parent to stay safer and healthier even as they cope with eye health problems and vision limitations.