SummaryRead the full fact sheet
- Simple tasks around the home can be hazardous if your vision is deteriorating.
- Ways to improve safety include using contrast and better lighting, mechanical aids, and large print or tactile labels.
- Seek advice from organisations such as Vision Australia.
General safety tips with vision loss
- Experiment with general and local lighting to see which combination works best for you.
- Remove rugs, since they can curl or slip.
- Get rid of any unwanted items to reduce clutter.
- If possible, don’t have patterned carpets.
- Fix extension leads along skirting boards.
- Use a telephone with large numbers.
- Keep emergency numbers in large print next to the telephone, or store them alphabetically in the telephone’s memory buttons.
- Make it a habit to keep internal doors completely open or completely shut.
Vision loss and bathroom safety
- If your bathroom walls are light-coloured, choose dark-coloured towels for contrast.
- Install grab rails in the bath and shower.
- Use a chain to attach the bathplug to the tap.
- Use soap-on-a-rope, or tie soap inside a stocking and hang the stocking from the grab rail.
- Lay non-slip mats inside the bath and shower.
- Electric shavers are safer and easier to use than razors.
- Nail clippers and nail files are safer and easier to use than scissors.
Vision loss and garden safety
- Cut any low-hanging tree branches.
- Line pathways with contrasting colour strips.
- Orient yourself by using reference markers such as trees and ornaments.
- Pad the tops of garden stakes.
- Install irrigation systems to avoid the need to water the garden by hand.
- Always coil the garden hose after use.
Vision loss and kitchen safety
- Use kitchen cutters rather than knives to open packets.
- Twist open stubborn jar lids wearing rubber gloves, or use a handheld jar opener, rather than trying to loosen the lid under hot running water.
- Wash knives with a long-handled brush.
- Use aids to cut foods, such as cheese slicers, egg slicers and tomato slicers.
- Put saucepans on the stove before turning on the burners.
- Make it a habit to turn saucepan handles away from you, to prevent accidental knocks.
- Use fire retardant oven mitts and keep a fire prevention blanket in the kitchen.
Tea, coffee and other hot drinks
- Don’t use fingers to feel for the level of boiling water inside a cup. The right amount of boiling water in a cup can be indicated by an electronic device called a ‘liquid-level indicator’ that beeps when the water level reaches the prongs.
- Fill the teapot with cold water, then pour this pre-measured amount into the kettle to boil.
- Heat a cup of cold water in the microwave and add coffee or tea afterwards.
- For contrast, use dark-coloured cups for light liquids and light-coloured cups for dark liquids.
- Put a funnel inside the cup when pouring water to better direct the flow.
Vision loss and laundry safety
- Keep the clothesline above head-height and pad the corners.
- To reduce the risk of burns when ironing, use cotton gloves and always locate the iron by feeling along the electrical cord.
Vision loss and medication safety
- Distinguish between different with large print labels or use tactile markings or brightly coloured tags.
- Use a pill holder with separate compartments for the different days of the week and ask your to fill it for you.
- Mark common dosage levels on medicine cups.
- Pills in blister packs are easier to dispense than pills stored loosely inside a bottle.
Vision loss and steps and stairs safety
- Affix contrasting colour strips to the edges of all steps and stairs.
- Make sure the colour strips are non-slip.
- Install railings.