Medical Alerts for Seniors with Blindness

Medical Alerts for Seniors with Blindness

time icon 5 min read update icon Sept. 28, 2019


Approximately two-thirds of people afflicted with blindness are seniors, according to the American Foundation for the Blind. The risk of severe eye problems and blindness increases dramatically with age.

Blindness Overview

Some elderly individuals face blindness as a result of numerous age-related diseases and disorders, but age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma are the most common causes of vision loss. Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in white seniors, and glaucoma or cataracts are the leading causes of blindness in African American seniors.

Loss of vision can be devastating for an individual because it can seriously impair their ability to live an independent life. They can start to feel depressed and isolated. The risk of falling also increases dramatically.

Blindness Impairment

Blindness alters every aspect of a person’s life. The impact is profound. The person can no longer drive, watch television, enjoy reading, use a computer, or do a multitude of other daily tasks that they once took for granted. Their entire lifestyle must be altered. Many elderly individuals sink into a deep depression and start to feel removed from the world around them when they experience severe impairments to their vision.

Impairments suffered due to blindness:

  • Mobility issues
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Frustration
  • Fear
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
Medical Alert Benefits

Blindness may cause a person to feel a deep sense of isolation. That isolation can increase fears and anxiety. Blindness also hinders mobility. A person can no longer see obstacles and may inadvertently fall or stumble.  Cooking becomes dangerous and a fire can quickly erupt. If an emergency should occur, a blind person may have a very difficult time using a phone to call for help. In their haste to make a call, they can even fall trying to reach the phone.

Medical alert services allow a person to quickly summon help. Individuals are not faced with having to dial a number when using medical alerts.

Symptoms of blindness:

  • Loss of vision
  • Eye pain
  • Seeing flashing lights
  • Blurred vision
  • Foggy vision
Safety Without Medical Alerts

A blind senior can opt to live without medical alerts, but certain safety measures should be taken.

  • Mobility: Blindness can severely hinder mobility. Having a cane or a walker is beneficial to a blind individual. Installing handrails throughout the home can also help the individual safely traverse the space.
  • Falling: Falling is a constant threat when someone is blind. Installing handrails in the shower/bath and a stand-and-assist beside the bed can both be beneficial.
Blindness Precautions
  • Depression: Blindness causes many individuals to sink into a deep depression. Seeking professional assistance is imperative. Asking for the support of friends and family can also be beneficial.
  • Eliminate obstacles: Rearranging a home to be more open and less cluttered is imperative, so that the blind person can easily navigate from room to room without bumping into things and possibly falling.
  • Speaker voice assistant: Amazon Echo and Google Home can help a senior who is blind cope with daily life. These systems are voice-activated and feature speakers in almost every room of the home. The senior can ask the system basic questions such as the time or weather. It will also play music or read a book with a simple voice command. A senior can also use it to adjust the temperature in the home, control lighting, turn on/off the home’s security system, and make phone calls.
Blindness Medical Alerts Conclusion

Coping with blindness is never easy, but with medical alerts, you will have the peace of mind of knowing that you can quickly and efficiently summon help.  You do not have to worry about locating a phone and trying to dial for help. If you should fall or a fire should erupt in the home, you can summon assistance. With medical alert services, you never have to feel alone.

Kimberly Sharpe - Senior Advisor

Kimberly is senior researcher with Grandfolk® providing in-depth product and service reviews to empower senior buying decisions.