Expert Q & A

Home Restructuring for Seniors with Vision Problems

Apr 16, 2014 10:14AM
Question: My aging uncle has vision problems and is always bumping into the refrigerator or the washer and dryer. How can a home remodeling specialist help in this case?

Home Remodeling Expert,  Mike Dodd
There are many causes and variations of decreased vision and, therefore, no simple answers to this question. If there are no related cognitive or orthopedic concerns, you could try creating a boundary area to provide a warning that you are nearing the proximity of the appliance. This can be accomplished by placing something with a contrasting color on the floor (i.e., colored duct tape or secure a colorful floor pad to the floor).  Another solution might be to place something textured on the floor, like the strips you place on the floor of a tub or shower, that would provide a sensory warning when stepped on. Visual changes are complex and solutions are many. We recommend that a home assessment be completed by a visual specialist or an occupational therapist specializing in low vision in your area. There are resources available to help you. In the event that your family member has a service background, contact the VA in your area for a connection to their vision services.  Another resource is the American Foundation for the Blind. You can locate a visual specialist in your area by going to their website

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Mike Dodd is the founder and President of Lifewise Renovations, that combines home remodeling project management with the expertise of health care professionals, to make it possible live safely and comfortably at home regardless of age or physical ability. As a member of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Mike holds the Certified Aging In Place Specialist (CAPS) designation.  For more information, go to
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