How Loss of Vision/Hearing Can Affect Assessment
Ronald Demske, Senior Care Consultant
In the bible, we hear or rather read “let there be light.” To Ronald Demske, both Light and Vision are a part of THE CARE DISCOVERY PROCESS for both the future residents and communities. How this light translates to the aging senior population can seriously affect the daily living activities of a senior adult entering an independent living community, assisted living, or memory care unit/residence.
Vision is critical in our everyday life and is a most important fifth sense, even perhaps, the most necessary of the senses relating to daily living. For via light waves, our visual messages are moved along visual pathways to the brain. These messages cannot be jumbled. Our Cognitive process needs the visual messages to function accurately and coherently to positively develop relevant thoughts and learning patterns. We should continue to READ and visually observe through our entire life cycle , as youth, adult, middle age, and senior. Continued use of the cognitive process is an essential vial of life.
When Ron Demske, as CarePatrol in Eastern Sacramento Foothills, carefully evaluates a new community – to which he will take a family to visit and walk through — He cautiously reviews the safety and considerations that the community offers to its future new residents, especially those facing loss of vision or loss of hearing. There are several items that he looks at including the previous California State Evaluation and violation history of the community. He addresses the need for LIGHT or more specifically how does the new residence address elderly hearing and vision issues both mild and severe.
When Ron was age 10 and read a book, he needed only 1X light at certain fixed distance from the light source. When he reached 65, he needed 20X more light from the same distance and light source. This is TRUE for the majority of today’s seniors. Also at Age 59, Ron’s contrast discrimination also began to diminish. Again, this is most true today for the majority of the senior population. This can effect daily functions such as walking, stairs, and clear color / background information. Again, the visual message is negatively being impacted because of the loss of color, and the fact that color differentiation and discrimination are not true. Visual clarity is not present and lacking. Regarding safety issues, bad contrast discrimination can cause seniors to trip, walk slowly and unsure where they step, and possibly bumping into things, and even falling causing possible serious trauma injury. There are certain inexpensive filters that help seniors indoor and outdoor. These filters block out harmful light rays UVA / UVA B that negatively impact the retina causing this contrast loss. Contrast loss is clearly a function of light and light waves.
Both Vision and Hearing have such a focal and substantive impact on finding the right senior placement. With CarePatrol, Ron recognizes that he can be there to help and guide seniors through their transition phases and the best safety options for a quality future and lifestyle activities of daily living such as meal preparation, dressing, bathing, and using the bathroom. Long-term care can be provided in a variety of setting such as in the home, the community, assisted living homes and communities, or in a nursing home.