Depth Perception and Elders: How to Move Around Without InjuryAs adults age, their depth perception changes. This creates a myriad of problems with navigation, movement, and responses. When it’s difficult to see and judge proper distances, elders can trip and fall or accidentally drop something.

For elders, poor depth perception is dangerous. They can have difficulty judging if their walking path is clear, and might trip and fall. They could try to cross the street and put themselves in danger in oncoming traffic. There are a lot of dangers for the elderly with poor vision. They need those who love and support them to help make their day to day life safer by accounting for their depth perception issues and changing their environment accordingly.

Dealing with Uneven Surfaces

It’s best to try and make a senior’s living space trip proof, first. While there might be some short term solutions to assist with poor depth perception, ensuring they cannot injure themselves, regardless of any solutions in place, should be number one priority. While it is not possible to make an entire living space safe, eliminating some of the bigger threats will go a long way to making it safer.

Start with hazards like scatter rugs, doormats, and bath mats. For elders these raised surfaces can present a serious tripping hazard, and should be removed wherever possible. If a rug or mat is necessary, try to find ways to make it safer with plastic mats so they have a specific way to get on the rug without worrying about tripping.

Next, try to find where the structure of the house might create a hazard. This includes stairs, sharp corners, or step down areas. These can present serious tripping hazards for elders unless they are properly dealt with. For stairs and uneven surfaces, small ramps would be extremely helpful. If necessary, lifts can be installed on larger staircases to prevent chances of injury. Sharp corners and jutting architecture can be covered with soft buffers to prevent external injuries.

The ultimate goal is to make sure elders with depth perception issues have safe ways to navigate around their home. The smallest misstep can cause serious injuries, so it is best to err on the side of caution and ensure they are as safe as possible.

Navigating Outside

It can be extremely difficult to move around outside, for elders with poor depth perception. There are a lot of moving people, vehicles, and other obstacles they have to overcome. If possible, ensure that the elder has someone to assist them outside. This would ensure the elder doesn’t run into anything or trip and accidentally fall.

If this option isn’t possible, using a cane, walking stick, or walker can help elders navigate. They can use these walking assistants to navigate uneven terrain and drops. While slower, for elders who need to travel these mobility aids will be helpful. Uneven terrain or small cracks in the sidewalk can pose a serious threat to tripping and falling, so it’s best to use whatever tools possible to avoid these.

Remember, if seniors are going to be travelling outside, they need to plan ahead. Even if they are wheelchair bound, it’s best to have a plan of how they’re going to get where they’re going, and what tools they need to use. Parking close to a destination or seeking out ramps will make sure their time outside will be much smoother.

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