Many bodily functions gradually decrease with age, including vision. However, there are a number of ways to boost eyesight and delay the onset of visual impairment in the senior years.
Eat Healthy Foods
Orange and yellow vegetables, dark leafy greens, and egg yolks provide the antioxidants needed to reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration. Capers, garlic, onions, and shallots are rich sources of cysteine, lecithin, and sulfur, which protect the lenses of the eyes from cataracts and reverse night blindness. The anthocyanin found in blueberries, goji berries, grapes, and other berries has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Berries also supply the vitamins and minerals that protect vision. Cod, mackerel, salmon, and sardines provide the fatty acid known as DHA, which promotes the health of cell membranes. Oily fish are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which ensure healthy vascular function and blood circulation.
Consider hiring a professional caregiver if your loved one needs help preparing healthy meals. In-home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Perform Visual Exercises
Performing certain eye exercises each day strengthens the muscles that control eye movement, which increases visual acuity and prevents macular degeneration. Simple exercises include rolling the eyes clockwise and then counterclockwise 10 times in the morning, at night before bedtime, or when experiencing eye fatigue. Another exercise would be to hold a pen or pencil approximately six inches from the nose, slowly move the object to arm’s length while maintaining focus, and repeat the process 10 times. Warming the eyes encourages blood flow. Seniors can rub the palms of their hands together until they feel warm, position a hand over each eye for five seconds, and repeat the process three times.
Protect the Eyes from the Sun
Although most people have firsthand experience with painful sunburns, few realize the eyes are also susceptible to damage from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Whenever older adults venture outside during the daytime, they should wear sunglasses designed to block both UVA and UVB rays. Otherwise, chronic sun exposure could lead to cataract formation and other eye-related issues.
Some seniors need help getting dressed and taking precautionary measures when stepping outdoors. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Oshkosh seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
Ensure Sufficient Sleep
Seniors need seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Restful sleep enables the entire body to relax, perform cellular repairs, and recover. An inadequate amount of sleep can lead to health conditions such as weakened vision. Throughout the course of the day, older adults should close their eyes and rest for approximately 10 minutes for every hour spent reading, watching TV, or sitting in front of a computer. During this time, seniors might also try placing a slice of cucumber over each eye to provide cooling relief.
Get Routine Eye Exams
Older adults need to undergo annual eye exams to ensure their vision remains stable. Eye examinations determine if seniors need vision correction. Routine evaluations are also needed to rule out the possibility of glaucoma development. If an eye doctor finds the disorder early, appropriate treatment can prevent its progression.
Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional elder care. Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your parent, give us a call at (920) 573-6295 today.