About ten percent of people between the ages of 66 to 74 experience macular degeneration, with the chances increasing to thirty percent over the age of 75. This common ailment not only causes a large amount of frustration, but also has the potential to create dangerous situations for elderly people dealing with it. Adult children and in-home helpers who provide elderly care in Solana Beach can increase the quality of their help by understanding the nature, symptoms, and responses to macular degeneration.
While simple aging is the most common and well-known cause, research shows that a family history of macular degeneration drastically increases an individual’s risk. Some bad health habits, such as high fat intake and smoking, also increase risk. The problem begins when deposits form on the macula, the central area of the retina that is responsible for the eye’s most detailed vision. Eventually, the damage spreads to other parts of the retina, severely affecting the individual’s ability to accurately process visual information. This disease rarely leads to complete blindness, but elderly care in Solana Beach can be a critical factor in helping elders when macular degeneration makes everyday tasks, such as reading and cooking, extremely difficult.
A person usually notices the early influence of macular degeneration as an interference with clarity in direct vision—straight lines appearing wavy, for instance. With time, the issue can worsen to the point where anything in the central field of vision is heavily blurred and impossible to recognize. Eventually, it becomes very unsafe for elders with the disease to drive a vehicle, and elderly care in Solana Beach is needed to help with reading and other basic activities. Not all cases progress to the extreme, however, and many seniors simply experience long term minor inconvenience due to poor vision.
Perhaps due to the prevalence of this condition, there are many tools available to help seniors deal with the effects of deteriorating vision. Both low-tech and high-tech devices that make type and numbers larger than normal can allow a person with macular degeneration to continue using the phone, remote control, and computer on his or her own. For activities requiring detailed, small-scale work, like organizing a jewelry drawer or reading bills that come in the mail, elderly care in Solana Beach can provide a helping hand when needed. With a thorough understanding of the disease’s effects on vision and a helpful, patient attitude, the loved ones and caregivers of seniors can effectively partner with them to deal with this common side effect of the aging process.
Originally posted 2011-10-06 10:30:43.