Glaucoma is one of the most common causes of vision loss, affecting more than 3 million people in the United States. 2.7 million of those patients are over the age of 40, making it an exceptional risk for older adults. In fact, glaucoma is known to be the leading cause of blindness in patients over 60. Some of the dangers of glaucoma are obvious: vision loss can interfere with daily living, leading to a loss of mobility and independence. However, studies also show that without treatment and assistance, glaucoma may increase a senior patient's risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
The team at Gallagher Home Care understands how the limitations of vision loss can contribute to cognitive degeneration in seniors. Here are four ways our home care professionals can help patients with glaucoma maintain a lifestyle that keeps them sharp and healthy:
- Keeping the House Tidy
Keeping clean and tidy is important for any senior’s living space, as a clean house translates to a lower risk of infections and a safer place to heal. This is especially true for those living with glaucoma: an untidy house poses a greater risk for injuries when a person has vision loss, and around 9,500 deaths of older Americans are associated with falls every year. Unfortunately, keeping a clean house becomes increasingly difficult as a patient loses their sight. A professional housekeeping service can provide assistance to seniors in keeping their space safe and clean, helping to make beds, clear floors, scrub counters and more.
- Providing Transportation
Part of why glaucoma increases older patients’ risk of developing dementia is the sense of social isolation that can come with losing one’s vision. Many patients diagnosed with glaucoma immediately fear losing their independence, especially in the form of their driver’s license. While it is certainly unsafe for anyone with a vision impairment to operate a vehicle, a professional companion can provide much-needed assistance. A companion can bring a senior to do their own errands and shopping, and even accompany them to their medical appointments to ensure they’re getting the care they need.
- Medication Assistance
While providing transportation to and from medical appointments is essential, a senior patient’s medical regimen rarely ends there. Most senior patients take multiple medications, and those with glaucoma are no exception. Patients with glaucoma may even require eye drops on a daily basis. An in-home care professional can help ensure that older patients stick perfectly to their medication routines, and can help those with vision loss perform any parts of the routine they may find physically difficult.
Gallagher Home Care is a Medicare-certified home health agency whose employees are trained to provide exceptional, compassionate care to seniors in a variety of circumstances, including those living with glaucoma. Contact us at (412) 279-2257 with any questions. We are happy to give you more information about referrals and the services we offer.