Aging In Place

7/24/2023 | By Charlie Fletcher

For older adults who want to remain at home, physical impairments such as visual challenges can complicate the decision. Start with these safety tips for aging in place with vision loss to give you and your loved ones peace of mind and extend your independent years.

Vision loss in later life can be disconcerting. Without the right support, you may find that losing your sight reduces your confidence and undermines your ability to live independently.

However, vision loss is relatively common in older folks. In fact, 25% of people over the age of 75 have significant vision impairment. This means that there are a plethora of supportive services ready to help you navigate later life with vision loss — even if you want to age in place.

Understand your vision loss

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 4.2 million Americans aged 40 or older are either legally blind or live with low vision. The CDC also reports that the leading causes of vision loss are age-related, including diseases like macular degeneration and glaucoma.

Understanding your vision loss can help you regain a sense of control and help you take preventive action. In some cases, you may even be able to slow down the progression of your sight loss. For example, cataracts are caused by exposure to UV light, lifestyle factors, and age. As such, you can slow down the progression of this disease by:

  • Wear UV-blocking sunglasses
  • Eat a healthier diet rich in antioxidants
  • Quit smoking

Working with a vision expert to determine the root cause of your vision loss can improve your body positivity and help you strategically adapt your home to make it as safe as possible.

Modify your home

Happy woman at home with a daughter or caregiver. From Chernetskaya. For article: Older adults who want to stay at home can use these safety tips for aging in place with vision loss, for peace of mind and independence.

Aging in place can give you a sense of dignity and independence. However, you’ll need to modify your home if you want to stay safe while enjoying the comforts of home. If you start to notice the early onset of vision loss, consider making practical home modifications like:

  • Using lighting that accentuates light and dark contrasts
  • Installing supplemental lighting around stairs and kitchen countertops
  • Reducing glare by installing film on your window
  • Installing touch-based switches on ovens, thermometers, and microwaves

These simple steps can significantly improve your quality of life and minimize your risk of injury or accident. Follow up on these changes by proactively fall-proofing your home by decluttering and organizing your space. Consider installing some grip mats and non-slip surfaces in areas like your kitchen and shower for extra traction. If possible, install some mobility aids like handrails and grab bars, which can be helpful if you ever lose your balance.

Related: Universal homes, a house that works for everyone

Make the most of life

Vision loss in later life can be concerning and could bring up some negative feelings. However, you can still lead a healthy, safe, and fulfilling life, and vision loss doesn’t have to be limiting. For example, Dame Judi Dench has lived with macular degeneration since 2012. Since her diagnosis, she has starred in two Bond films and several stage plays.

Make the most out of your independence by staying active in ways that work for you. Consider some at-home seated yoga and try to get out for regular walks with trusted friends. This can help prevent other conditions like osteoarthritis and diabetes, too. Work with your family and friends to find activities in your area that engage your mind and boost your confidence, even as you adjust to life with lower vision.


Aging in place with vision loss is more than possible; it just requires you to be proactive. Simple steps, like installing grab bars and extra lighting, can protect you from falls and accidents at home. You can also continue to live life to the fullest by getting active in ways that work for you. Push your boundaries to discover new hobbies that engage your mind and help you get the most out of your years.

Charlie Fletcher

Charlie Fletcher is a freelance writer from the lovely “city of trees” – Boise, Idaho. Her love of writing pairs with her passion for social activism and search for the truth. You can find more of her writing at