Tips on Dining for the Visually Impaired

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Running the kitchen on a day to day basis can be challenging. In order to keep a kitchen running well we need to shop, clean out the refrigerator, prepare the meals and store leftovers. We have to see well in order to accomplish these tasks. For people with vision impairments this job can become difficult.

There are many reasons for vision impairments. Three types of vision problems can affect us when we are trying to prepare and eat our meals.

  1. As we age the lens of our eye undergoes an increased yellowing which affects sensitivity to different colors. Red, yellow, and orange hues remain the easiest colors to see.
  2. Changes in the eye cause us to be more sensitive to glare.
  3. The number of rod cells in the retina as well as decreased pupil size reduces peripheral vision so we are less likely to notice movement out of the corner of our eye.

All of these vision problems can lead to difficulty when it comes to enjoying our dining experience. Here are some suggestions to making eating, food preparation, and clean-up easier.

  • Be sure your kitchen has good lighting and avoid glare. This will make reading your cookbook, finding your ingredients and preparing your food a lot easier. You will also have a better dining experience in a well lit room.
  • Have your dinner guests sit across from you instead of next to you. This will make it easier for you to see your guests and visiting will be easier.
  • Always store your food preparation utensils, plates, silverware, and bowls in a familiar place. In that way you will be able to find them.
  • Use red, yellow or orange placemats. These colors can be seen easier than violet, blue or green colors.
  • When storing food put the name of the food and date in large black letters. You will be able to read the labels with ease.

¬©Assisted Living Store, Inc. (Originally Published February 18, 2008)

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