It was Labour Day weekend and my sister, Jenny, and I decided to pay our parents a visit. Jenny and I were watching tv downstairs when my mum called for help. I immediately rushed to her aid only to see that both of them were on the floor. It looked like my mum was trying to assist my dad but they both tripped.
“What are you two doing?” I asked my mum while trying to help her and dad get up.
“Adam! So good to see you, son!” my dad cheerfully said but instead of coming towards me, he walked right past me and hugged the coat hanger. “Uh, dad, I’m right here.” I said as I walked towards him.
“Give your old man a hug!” he said.
At around 10 pm, I saw my mum sitting down on the front porch, crying.
“Mum, what’s wrong? Why are you crying?” I asked.
“Your dad hasn’t been well for a long time. Haven’t you noticed earlier that he walked right past you when he tried to give you a hug? And during dinner, he thought the soup bowl was his glass of water? Which reminds me, I have to change our eating utensils to something more colourful. Our glassware all looks the same.”
“Anyway, he was diagnosed with Cataracts last year. He didn’t want to tell you and your sister so you guys wouldn’t worry. Every day, his vision gets worse.“ she added. I sat down beside my mum and hugged her.
While I was preparing to sleep, I started thinking how I could help. I googled visual aids and a lot of products showed up.
These are the things I added to my cart:
I decided to buy my dad a Glow-in-the-dark toilet seat so that he can always go to the toilet at night even without mum’s help.
I added in some motion sensor lights that would emit a bright light every time someone passes by it. It would be perfect for mum and dad so they could walk freely around the house at night.
Lastly, I bought him a sensory cushion. The bright and contrasting colours of the cushion can help stimulate his vision.
For a while the visual aids did help him but unfortunately, he fully lost his vision 2 years after he was diagnosed. But, despite that, he remains the happy, jolly, and lovable person that he is till this day.
For anyone suffering from any visual impairment or visual loss, nothing beats physical support from their loved ones.
There are many visual aids in the market that can provide support and comfort. You can purchase these to help make their lives easier, especially if you can’t be around them 24/7. You may be amazed how little things like coloured plates can provide much needed relief in their everyday lives.
Visual loss is common for adults who are 55 and over. In fact, about 55% of the population experience long term vision disorders. A study was conducted about color vision abnormalities and out of 865 adults between the ages 58 to 102 years old, a whopping 40% had abnormal results on one of the two tests while 20% failed both tests.
And did you know? One of the most famous impressionist painters from the mid 19th century to early 20th century, Paul Cezanne, who was well-known for his impressionistic paintings suffered from Myopia.
But, Cezanne didn’t let his condition stop him. He continued to paint despite his use of colours being affected. He still made sure he was creating a masterpiece. He coloured his world differently, and yet, illuminating mankind with a unique perspective into his paintings. For someone who was suffering visual loss, Cezanne still left thousands of art fans in awe.
Just like Adam’s father, he still continued to show optimism despite losing his vision. He chose to find the silver lining and because of that, he was still able to add colour to his wife’s and his kids’ world.
Adam and Jenny are fictitious names to protect their identity.