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Simple changes can make big safety differences

Navigating your home can become challenging because of wet macular degeneration. When the
center of your vision is impaired, you may need to find ways to help you walk down stairs, set an oven or microwave timer or avoid bumping into your coffee table.

Here are 5 simple ways to adapt your home and maintain your independence:1

  1. Use contrasting colors. If your kitchen is painted white, use a different color paint to outline electrical outlets and light switches, or use a piece of colored tape in the same area. In the living room, place a brightly-colored throw or pillow at each end of the couch. You can also line the edge of stairs with brightly-colored tape or paint.

  1. Add lighting. Change to brighter bulbs and add lights, such as a lamp with a long, flexible neck.

  1. Install knobs in contrasting colors. Visit a home supply store or website to find knobs to contrast kitchen appliances and cabinets throughout your house.

  1. Create large-print labels. Using a sticky note or another type of adhesive paper, make new labels in bright colors and with larger print for things like medicine bottles, spice containers and the folders you use for financial and medical records. And print emergency contact lists in a large size font.

  1. Clean out clutter. Donate things you no longer use to charity, and try to keep what remains minimal. Assign everything a place, and try to return everything to its spot right after use.

These are fast and easy changes you or your caregiver can make to improve the safety of your home. You can also bookmark this website and come back often to hear new suggestions from people living with wet macular degeneration.

References

1National Institute of Building Sciences Low Vision Design Program. Design Guidelines for the Visual Environment.
https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.nibs.org/resource/resmgr/LVDC/LVDP_Guidelines_052815.pdf. 2015. Accessed June 2019.

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