Low-Vision Living Tips for Your Patients

Share the tips below with your patients

Tips for the kitchen

Whether you're making a snack for yourself or preparing a feast for friends and family, these tips can help make your kitchen easier to use, even if you have low vision.

Create a System: Make sure all of your utensils, spices, and ingredients have their own place in the kitchen. Then make it a habit to put things away as soon as you are finished using them so they are easily found the next time. (You may need to ask family members to adopt your "system" so they don't put things back in the wrong place!)

Keep Cabinets Fully Closed or Fully Open: You can also try using contrasting tape (try white or black tape depending on the color of your cabinets) on the insides or backs of cabinet doors to make it easier to tell if one is open. Or install contrasting cabinet knobs or handles.

Perfect the Art of Touch: Tactile markings can help you tell the difference between similar types of containers. For example, wrap a rubber band around the juice container to tell it apart from the milk.

Sniff First, Sprinkle Second: There's nothing like mistaking pepper for cinnamon–so follow your nose when you're not sure!

Adopt the Art of Contrast: Use a cutting board that contrasts in color with the items you're slicing and dicing. Try to get a white cutting board and a black cutting board for your kitchen. So when you're cutting meat, use the white cutting board. Need to cut an onion? Use the black one. Also, use oven mitts, dishtowels, and utensils that contrast with your countertops to make them easier to find.

Measure Up: It can be tough to see the lines for each measure on a standard measuring cup. So try using divided measuring cups instead. They are generally easier to use. Even better: they are available in different colors, so you can adopt the color-contrast techniques described above.

Tips for lighting the home

Use consistent lighting: Reduce or eliminate shadows and bright spots by keeping light at a consistent brightness throughout your home. Light the night: Use night-lights to illuminate places like bathrooms, bedrooms, and hallways that you may use often during the evening hours.

Install cabinet lighting: Make using appliances easier by installing under-cabinet lights in your kitchen.

Maximize available light: When sitting to read, place available light directly over the shoulder on the same side of your body as the eye with the best vision.