- 1. Adapting your home
2. Making things bigger: magnifiers
3. Making things brighter: different types of lighting
4. Making things bolder
5. Practical adaptations:
• Using colour and contrast
• Main fixtures and fittings: staircase, doors, kitchen, bathroom
• Electrical fittings
6. Painting and decorating: walls, floors, ceilings, doors
1. Adapting your home
If you are losing your sight or have a sight problem you may need improvements, repairs or adaptations to your home to help you continue to live independently
there. Here are some suggestions.
- Repairing hazards such as a broken path.
- Maintaining the garden to ensure that plants are not overgrown and causing an obstruction, such as removing weeds from between paving stones or cutting back
- Improving the lighting around your front door.
- Installing an entry phone system.
- Fitting door handles which are easy to see and grasp.
- Increasing the amount of natural light entering into your home.
- Improving the control and level of artificial lighting.
- Fixing any hazards such as loose carpeting or broken handrails on a staircase.
- Putting up continuous handrails on either side of the staircase to hold on to.
- Changing the colour scheme in your home so that you can see things more easily.
- Putting raised markings on appliance controls.
- Having non-slip flooring in the bathroom.
- Increasing the amount of heat insulation so that you can keep warm without paying higher bills.
- Finding out about aids and gadgets which might help you to live more safely and independently.
Using equipment with contrasting colours makes them easier to see. To make the most of your sight, and make them easier to see, make them bigger, bolder and brighter.
Making things bigger
Making things bigger usually makes them easier to see. Using easy-to-see products could help you in your daily life. Some examples of easy-to-see products are:
- clocks and watches with large numbers
- big button telephones
- large print books and calendars
- thick black felt-tip pens to write notes with.
You can also try moving things closer to your eyes - this will not damage your eyes, just make things appear bigger. For example, you could sit closer to your television
to make the picture bigger.
Using a magnifier can also make things look bigger. Choosing the right magnifier for you is very important amd we advise you to visit your low vision service where you
will receive a full assessment so that you can get the best magnifier for you.
Hands free magnifier
Making things brighter
Using better lighting can help to make things easier to see. You should make sure that you have as much light as you feel comfortable with for each task that you do.
It is often easier to see things if you shine a light directly on to what you want to see. For example, when reading, it may be easier to see the text if you use a lamp
that can be adjusted to shine directly on the page that you are reading. This is called task lighting.
Different types of Lighting:
Task lighting directs light where it is needed most. Ideal for detailed activities such as reading, writing, preparing food and continuing with hobbies such as knitting
Natural daylight improves the general light in your home during the day. Blinds with horizontal or vertical slats will help control bright light and glare.
Electric lighting should be chosen to provide an adequate amount of light in the room. Increasing the number of individual lights will produce a more even spread of light
and can be done by adding wall lights, desk lights on tables and floor standing lights.
Everyone is different and you need to find the amount of light that you are comfortable with.
Making things bolder
It is harder to see things that are similar in colour to the background that they are on. Contrast is about how much something appears to stand out from its background
because of its colour or tone.
Things can be made easier to see by putting them on a contrasting background. You can use different colours or different tones to make them stand out. For instance, a
dark purple plate on a dark purple tablecloth may be difficult to see. It would be easier to see a white plate on a purple tablecloth or a light purple plate on a dark
purple tablecloth. The best contrast is black and white.
Using colour and contrast
It is harder to see things that are similar in colour to the background that they are on. Contrast is about how much something appears to stand
out from its background because of its colour or tone.
Things can be made easier to see by putting them on a contrasting background. You can use different colours or different tones to make them stand out. For example a dark
green door handle on a dark green door may be difficult to see but a white or light green door handle would be much easier to see.
Contrast can be used all over your home and is a really easy way to make things easier to see.
Main fixtures and fittings
On the staircase
- The handrail or banister on your staircase will stand out more if you paint it in a contrasting colour or tone from the stairs and the wall.
- To make the edge of each step stand out more, mark each one with white paint, or fix a contrasting white plastic or metal strip (known as "nosings") on the edge of each
- To make doors stand out, paint the door in a contrasting colour or tone from the door frame. Painting the door frame a contrasting colour or tone from the wall will also
make it easier to see.
- To make it easier to see door handles, use ones which contrast in colour or tone from the doors they are fixed onto. Door handles can be painted, a coloured strip can be
stuck on, or the handle can be replaced.
- If you have cupboard doors that swing open, a contrasting strip on the inside or the outside edge of the door will help you notice it when it has been left open.
(Coloured sticky tape is available from most DIY stores.)
- If you have sliding glass doors, it can be difficult to tell whether the doors are open or closed.
To make them easier to see, stick on a coloured transfer design. This can prevent you from having any nasty accidents.
In the bathroom
Bathroom areas can seem particularly daunting if you have trouble finding everything you need. Use contrast and tactile labelling in these areas.
- Consider using safety flooring which is non-slip and non-reflective and is a contrasting colour to the walls.
- If fitting new wall tiles, consider a matt finish and pick tiles that are in a contrasting colour to the colour of the floor.
- If fitted, choose grab rails which contrast with the wall colour. They are easier to see and therefore safer to use.
- Choose soap dispensers, bars of soap, toilet rolls and toilet roll holders which are a contrasting colour from your bathroom wall, washbasin and toilet.
- If you are buying new toilet seats or washbasins, choose ones which contrast from the surfaces they are near. For example, it is easier to see a dark blue toilet seat on
a white toilet bowl, or a green bar of soap against a white washbasin.
In the kitchen
Contrast in the kitchen can make cooking and preparing food easier and safer. It is easier to work on kitchen surfaces that are plain and contrast in colour or shade from
the kitchen walls.
- Avoid putting up glass shelves as they are difficult to see.
- If you paint or put tape on the edges of work surfaces and shelves in a contrasting colour or tone, it will make the edges easier to see.
- A sink area of a contrasting colour or tone from the work surface can be helpful. The taps can be of another contrasting colour or tone to the sink
- A contrasting non-slip mat or coloured tray can make the kettle easier to see.
- Having the best lighting for you is also very important in the kitchen. For more information on lighting, see the lighting section.
You may find it hard to switch lights on and off or plug in electrical equipment. Here are some tips that, with the aid of an electrician, will help you use electrical
appliances more easily:
- Use switches and sockets which contrast with the walls. For example, a dark red light switch would contrast well with a white wall.
- To add even more contrast, you could put a contrasting light or dark strip of tape around the outside of the switch.
- To help you find pull cords for lights, tie brightly coloured contrasting ribbons or material onto them.
- To help you find the control knobs on your appliances, use brightly coloured contrasting markers (called bump-ons) so that you can see and feel the controls.
- You can fix written labels, marked in big letters with a thick black felt-tip pen, onto things to make them stand out.
- Brightly coloured contrasting markers (bump-ons) and large labels are available from RNIB. Coloured tape is available from most DIY stores. Manufacturers can supply
tactile adaptations for kitchen appliances.
Painting and decorating
Choosing the right types of paints and wallpaper can make things easier to see at home.
Gloss paints, which are shiny, can cause glare. To prevent this, use paints that have a matt finish instead. Pale walls reflect light into the room and more light can
make it easier to see. Although light coloured walls can help make the room bright, white walls can cause glare and be uncomfortable.
Things stand out better on plain or subtly patterned surfaces or backgrounds, but tend to blend into the background against boldly patterned surfaces. If you are thinking
about putting up new wallpaper or buying new furnishings, such as curtains or sofas, try to select plainer paper and fabrics.
Having plain walls and furniture does not mean that your home has to be plain. You can make your home more cheerful by introducing items such as patterned cushions and
tie backs on your curtains.
Walls, floors, ceilings and doors
- It is easier to see walls, floors, ceilings and doors if they are painted in colours or tones that contrast from each other.
- When you are redecorating, choose colours for the floor, ceiling, walls and doors first. After that, pick contrasting colours for smaller things such as skirting boards
and picture rails.
- If a border is stuck around the edge of a room it can also help to make the walls stand out.
- Plain or patterned borders are particularly useful in hallways and corridors to help you to find your way around.
- A coloured wooden dado rail can also be used in this way.
Mais informações em http://www.rnib.org.uk/ .