As humans age, we all experience a natural decline in vision. For many people, this is a minor problem. However, blurred vision and glare may become more noticeable over time. These issues can often be managed by wearing eyeglasses or other corrective lenses. However, for caregivers of elderly parents whose vision has deteriorated significantly due to aging-related issues such as macular degeneration and cataracts, managing these conditions becomes far more challenging. In this blog post, we’ll explore the impact of aging on our eyesight and provide tips on how family members can help maintain their loved ones’ visual health.
Get an Insurance Plan
Medicare, a federal program for individuals aged 65 and older, offers extensive coverage for various vision services and treatments. It consists of different parts to cater to different healthcare needs. Part A covers hospital insurance, Part B provides medical insurance, Part D includes prescription drug coverage, and there are Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) as an alternative way to get Medicare coverage.
Medicare Part B covers preventive or diagnostic eye exams, cataract surgery, corrective lenses after cataract surgery, glaucoma tests, and macular degeneration treatment. To have these expenses covered, it’s important to know when and how to enroll in a Medicare plan. Routine eye exams, eyeglasses, and contact lenses are usually not covered, except as part of post-cataract surgery care. So, it’s crucial to understand the coverage terms and consider supplemental insurance if needed.
Make Sure They Follow Through with Regular Checkups
Regular checkups are essential for elderly individuals, allowing them to detect and treat vision-related problems before they become severe. During the exam, the doctor will assess your parent’s visual acuity, eye alignment and movement, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the overall health of their eyes. They may also use specialized tests to evaluate more specific problems.
It’s important to keep up with the recommended schedule of appointments as prescribed by the doctor, and if your parents are having difficulty adhering to it, try to find creative ways of motivating them. For example, suggest they invite a family member or friend for moral support.
Stay Informed about Common Eye Conditions in the Elderly
To better support your elderly parents, it’s essential to understand the different types of eye diseases and conditions that can affect older individuals. Common eye problems among seniors include cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and dry eyes. Educating yourself on these issues and staying up-to-date on the latest research and treatments can help your parents make informed decisions about their care.
Talk to your parent’s eye doctor and ask them any questions. They can provide information on each condition’s risks, symptoms, and treatments and advise you on managing your vision health best.
Offer Support Where Needed
Be patient with them and offer assistance where needed – whether helping them book appointments or help with tasks such as reading medication labels. If your parents need help getting around, consider investing in assistive devices such as magnifying glasses or a white cane to help them navigate their surroundings safely. Additionally, if your parent has difficulty performing regular activities due to vision problems, look into services such as home health aides who can provide extra support and companionship.
The most important thing you can do to support your elderly parents is to provide an understanding and caring environment. Check-in on them regularly, ask how they’re feeling, and let them know you can help if needed. With your support, your parents can live life confidently and comfortably despite their vision problems.