Helping your Parent after a Diagnosis of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

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Elderly Care in Lexington OH: Helping your Parent after a Diagnosis of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

A diagnosis of macular degeneration can leave a senior fearful of what lies ahead and their ability to lead an independent life. Depending on the stage of the disease, they may have no vision loss or their central vision may be diminishing at a rapid pace. There are lifestyle changes that may slow down the progression of this disease and ways to make your loved one’s home safer and easier to navigate so that they can live as independently as possible for as long as possible.

The Definition of AMD

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss for people who are age 50 and older. It is the result of degeneration of the central portion of the retina of the eye, otherwise known as the macula. Its progression varies widely from person to person with some exhibiting no changes in their vision for years. The first symptom is often blurred vision. Ultimately, total loss of central vision may occur. Because symptoms may not become apparent for some time, it’s important to make yearly appointments with your parent’s ophthalmologist for a comprehensive eye exam.

Lifestyle Choices

There are several lifestyle choices that have been shown to potentially slow down the progression of AMD. These include the following:

  • Stop smoking. Smoking doubles the risk of AMD. For help with this difficult to quit habit, visit Smokefree 60+, an online resource that provides tips, incentives and online support.
  • Help your parent institute a healthy diet rich in salmon, berries and other antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. Choose foods high in lutein and zeaxanthin, important nutrients for the eye that can be found in leafy greens and red peppers as well as peas, squash and eggs. Help them stay hydrated by ensuring they have a glass of water by their side.
  • Schedule exercise on a daily basis that consists of aerobic activity.
  • Find activities that reduce stress and promote relaxation such as reading, relaxing walks in nature, listening to guided relaxation recordings, and taking warm baths filled with lavender sea salts.

 

Home Environment

Help your loved one remain independent by providing them with a safe home environment. This includes reducing any tripping of slipping hazards. Walk the pathways your parent generally takes from room to room and assess for any clutter or obstructions including furniture or wires. Remove throw rugs. Increase lighting and provide lampshades to reduce glare. Install grab bars in strategic locations such as the shower and by the toilet.

Elderly Care Provider

Your parent may, at some point, be unable to perform all the daily activities of living. Should this occur, consider the aid of an elderly care provider who can assist them with the daily tasks as well as provide transportation, perform errands and provide the companionship so vital to well-being at any age.

If you are considering hiring elderly care in Lexington, Ohio, call the caring staff at Central Star Home Health at (419) 610-2161.  Providing services for families in Mansfield, Lexington, Bellville, Mt. Gilead, Loudonville, Crestline, Galion, Shelby, Ashland, Wooster, and the surrounding areas.

 

Resources:

https://60plus.smokefree.gov/

https://nei.nih.gov/health/maculardegen/armd_facts

 

About the author: Tracy Clark
Tracy began working for Star Multi Care as the Administrator of the Mansfield, Ohio office in March, 2012. In January, 2014 she was relocated to Florida to assume the role as Branch Administrator of the Pembroke Pines and subsequently the Home Health Liaison until coming back to Ohio in June, 2015. Prior to working at Star Multi Care, Tracy attended Marion Technical School for Business Administration and served as a United States Army Medic during Desert Shield. However, her true life’s work was awakened while spending 12 years in the long term care and assisted living arena. She quickly learned that assisting older adults was a passion that could not be denied. Tracy takes pride in being able to meet with each of her clients upon admission. Getting to know each of them enables her to personalize the care they receive and to direct her staff to ensure they receive the highest quality of care. In addition to her role as Home Health Liaison, Tracy has always been active in her community. She has served on the Salvation Army Advisory Board as Secretary, is a Certified Salvation Army National Disaster Responder, one of 1500 Specialists in 50 states to complete Mather LifeWays “PREPARE” training which trains professionals to address the medical and psychosocial needs of elderly residents affected by emergency situations, a member of the Advisory Committee for the Clinical Care Specialist Program at Madison Adult Career Center and is a member of various professional organizations throughout southeast Florida.