Supporting a Parent Living with Sight Loss: Tips to Help

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Supporting a parent with sight loss can be challenging for everyone, but there are many ways you can help your loved one to maintain their independence and quality of life. From practical adjustments around the home to embracing innovative technology, here are some tips to support your parent in their daily activities.

Understanding Sight Loss

Sight loss can range from partial vision to complete blindness and can impact every aspect of daily life. It’s important to understand the specific needs and challenges your parent faces. Regular eye examinations and consultations with specialists can provide valuable insights into their condition and how best to support them.

Tips for Helping with Everyday Tasks

Enhancing Home Safety

A safe living environment is crucial for someone with sight loss. Here are some ways to make their home safer:

  • Clear Pathways: Ensure that walkways are free of obstacles. Remove rugs or secure them with non-slip pads.
  • Good Lighting: Use bright, even lighting throughout the house, especially in hallways and staircases.
  • Contrasting Colours: Use contrasting colours on stairs, door frames, and furniture to make them more visible.
  • Tactile Markings: Add tactile markers on light switches, appliance controls, and other important items.

Simplifying Household Tasks

Daily household tasks can be made easier with a few adjustments:

  • Organised Kitchen: Arrange kitchen items in a logical order. Use labels with large print or scannable codes such as Navilens.
  • Adapted Appliances: Consider appliances with tactile controls or voice activation.
  • Colour-Coded Systems: Use colour-coded systems for clothing, household items, and medications.

Supporting Mobility

Helping your parent maintain their mobility is key to their independence:

  • Mobility Aids: Canes, guide dogs, and electronic navigation aids can be invaluable.
  • Safe Outdoor Areas: Ensure that outdoor areas are well-maintained and free of hazards.
  • Transportation: Assist with transportation needs, whether it’s organising rides or teaching them to use public transport safely.

Encouraging the Use of Technology

Embracing Assistive Technology

Assistive technology can greatly enhance independence for those with sight loss. Devices like RealSAM’s customised phones offer numerous features designed to make life easier:

  • Voice-Activated Commands: Allow users to make calls, send messages, and access information hands-free.
  • Screen Readers: Convert text to speech, enabling users to listen to messages, emails, and other content.
  • Emergency Features: Provide quick access to emergency contacts and services.

Utilising Mobile Apps

Many mobile apps are designed to assist those with sight loss. Some useful apps include:

  • Be My Eyes: Connects visually impaired users with sighted volunteers for help with everyday tasks.
  • Seeing AI: Uses the phone’s camera to describe people, text, and objects around the user.
  • Moovit: Helps with navigating pblic transport.

Promoting Social Connections

Staying Connected with Loved Ones

Social isolation can be a significant issue for those with sight loss. Encourage regular interaction with family and friends:

  • Frequent Visits: Schedule regular visits or outings to keep them engaged.
  • Video Calls: Use technology to facilitate video calls, which can be more personal than voice calls.
  • Community Groups: Look for local community groups or organisations that offer support and social activities for visually impaired individuals.

Engaging in Hobbies and Interests

Helping your parent stay engaged in their hobbies can greatly improve their quality of life:

  • Adapted Activities: Find ways to adapt their favourite activities, such as audiobooks for reading enthusiasts or tactile art supplies for crafters.
  • New Interests: Introduce them to new activities that are accessible, like braille classes or music appreciation groups.

Providing Emotional Support

Being Patient and Understanding

Adjusting to sight loss can be frustrating and emotionally challenging. Your patience and understanding are crucial:

  • Listen Actively: Allow them to express their feelings and frustrations without judgment.
  • Encouragement: Celebrate their successes in living with sight loss, no matter how small, to build their confidence.
  • Professional Support: Consider professional counselling or support groups if needed.

Encouraging Independence

While it’s important to offer help, it’s equally important to encourage independence:

  • Respect Their Autonomy: Allow them to do things on their own whenever possible.
  • Offer Assistance When Needed: Step in when tasks are genuinely too difficult or dangerous for them to manage alone.


Supporting a parent living with sight loss involves a balance of practical assistance and emotional support. By enhancing home safety, simplifying tasks, encouraging the use of technology, promoting social connections, and providing compassionate care, you can help your parent maintain their independence and enjoy a fulfilling life. At RealSAM, we are committed to providing the tools and support needed to make this journey smoother for both you and your loved one.

Find out more about the support services available from RealSAM

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1. How can I make my parent’s home safer if they have sight loss?

Ensure pathways are clear, use bright lighting, employ contrasting colours on important items, and add tactile markings to appliances and switches.

2. What are some useful features of RealSAM’s customised phones?

Our phones include voice-activated commands, screen readers, large tactile buttons, and emergency features to enhance accessibility and safety.

3. How can technology help my parent stay independent?

Assistive technology, such as voice-activated devices and mobile apps designed for the visually impaired, can simplify daily tasks and improve safety.

4. What should I consider when helping my parent with household tasks?

Organise kitchen items logically, use adapted appliances with tactile controls, and implement colour-coded systems for easy identification of items.

5. How can I support my parent emotionally as they adjust to sight loss?

Be patient, listen actively, offer encouragement, and respect their autonomy while providing help when necessary.

6. What are some ways to help my parent stay socially connected?

Encourage regular interaction with family and friends, facilitate video calls, and explore community groups or activities designed for visually impaired individuals.