Simple Changes You Can Make on Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is a day when we get together with our friends and family and share great food, joy and harmony. Right? Ok, maybe it’s not always joy and harmony, and sometimes the turkey is a bit dry. But, while I can’t keep Uncle Bob from talking about politics and yes, the turkey will likely be dry, I can give you some tips to help your low vision loved ones experience a happy turkey day.
1) Clear the Floor
If your house is anything like mine, no matter what you do, there’s going to be a toy, book or a ball on the living room floor. Unfortunately your low vision relative, who I call Great Aunt Dora, may not be able to see them. Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma and other common causes of low vision can leave a blind spot in a person’s vision. Little Johnny’s favorite toy can easily end up in the blind stop and become a tripping hazard. So, take the time to make sure the toys are confined to the playroom, or at least out of the path of your guests.
2) Set a High Contrast Table
A white plate on a white tablecloth with your best silver can make a beautiful table setting. But, the lack of contrast makes it difficult for people with low vision to see the edge of the plate. To create a high contrast place setting with a white plate (for example) set a dark charger under the plate, use a dark tablecloth or put the plate on a dark place mat. The key is to create as large a contrast as possible between the edge of the plate and what is underneath. This way Great Aunt Dora doesn’t have to search for her plate. Oh, and don’t forget to use a high contrast napkin.
3) Meat at Six O’Clock
Have you noticed that your low vision relatives seem to search their plate to find the food? An easy way to remedy this is to make up Great Aunt Dora’s plate for her. Of course ask her what she wants first. Then, when you set her plate in front of her, use the clock face to tell her where things are. For example, place the meat at 6 o’clock (nearest to the person), the stuffing at 9 o’clock, mashed potatoes at 12 o’clock and the candied yams at 3 o’clock. Now it’s easy for Great Aunt Dora to find her food. To reduce the chance of spills, don’t forget to tell her where her glass is relative to the plate.
With these three easy changes you can make a big difference for your low vision loved one.