Day To Day

Day To Day

Posted under Guest Blogger, Living With Low Vision, Low Vision Info

When I was going to school I had to make a portfolio of things that a visually impaired person might benefit from.

I decided to do it entitled “a Day in the Life Of…”

So I went through my daily routines and found out which ones needed assistance due to my vision. It surprised me how I had incorporated different things into my routine so that I could do these tasks unassisted.

Let’s walk through my day so it might be helpful for you to understand how some of these things can be overcome.

The alarm clock goes off and it is not different or anything special. However, next to my clock is a talking watch as I cannot see the hands to tell me what time it is. The little voice chirps out an answer and I now know it is about twenty minutes or so before the alarm goes off and I get up.

Organization is key for the visually impaired so I trudge into the kitchen to decide between the box of cereal for breakfast or a few hard boiled eggs. My cereal is kept in a different spot so that I do not eat my husband’s Cheerios which I do not care for. The hard boiled eggs are kept in a special spot so that they are not confused with the regular eggs. That would be messy.

Next I am off to the shower. The shampoo bottle has a rubber band around it so I know that it is different from the conditioner. When at all possible I try to get two different type bottles so that even if the rubber band was not on it I could discern the difference.

Here is something that always marvels me…. people have asked about how I do common things like shaving my legs or fixing my hair and even more embarrassing bathroom events. Those things are not difficult at all. Try it yourself. You know where your body parts are so to tend to them is not that challenging.

Onward. If I had to use eye or ear drops I would put a big picture of that body part taped to the container. I knew someone who got them mixed up (they were sighted) and put ear drops in their eyes. That can be a huge problem.

Let me say at the outset that these things are what I do but extreme caution needs to be taken when dealing with things that can be lethal.

There should NEVER be any non food item in or around the real food products. Cleaning supplies should not ever be left on a counter or in an area that it can be misconstrued for a drink.

As simple as that sounds it is pretty common for this rule to get broken by the people who can see in the home and get lacks.

Back to the tour. When getting dressed I have a couple of tried and true systems for clothing management. Did I mention organization? It is key.

I sort all of my tops  (color t-shirt types) into three stacks: white, light colors and dark colors. Then I insert an 3×5 index card into the neckline, with the color written in sharpie and in braille. Depending on the light and time of day I might need one or the other. On the hangers holding slacks, jackets and dresses I have the same labeling system hooked over the tops of the hangers.

I leave the tags on the hangers and return the clothing to its same spot after it is laundered. The index cards from the tops are set on the corner of the dresser and returned to its correct shirt after laundering.   One time a good friend came and put my jackets in color order for me. That was great. If color discrimination is a problem there are some great free apps for your iProducts that will tell you what the colors are. That is very handy.

I have three people who I rely on for my color discrimination (before the app) and then my husband as a last resort. It is important that you keep clothing choices simple enough to be interchangeable and versatile. Long ago I stopped buying socks of any other color except white or black.

My shoes (and I have TONS) are all kept on four different shelves and each one hold the same type color: black, blue, brown, boots, all other colors.

Back to the kitchen. When I get home from the grocery store it is easy to feel what kind of meat has been purchased. Once it has gone into the freezer wasteland it congeals into a hard mass that is now indiscernible. Before it goes into the freezer I put the chicken in a plastic sack. Like the one it came home in. For the pork I use a large piece of duct tape around it so I can feel it. I put rubber bands around beef products. On turkey I tie a piece of string around the package. It might also be necessary to write out a 3×5 index card to make sub-sets of these meats. As an example beef, hamburger, steaks, roast or stewing. As an added layer of protection I put them all in a very specific place inside the freezer. Did I mention organization?

Nothing is as frustrating as looking for something that has not been put back in its place.

My pantry has large totes that hold all like items. I have a tote for tomatoes, one for beans, rice products, noodles etc. That way I can sweep my hand inside the tub and see if I need to get more of that when I next visit the grocery store.

Since we have ambled back into the kitchen I need to explain that on my stove and microwave I have bump dots to indicate some basic things. On the stove I chose a model that had tactile circles so I could tell what they were indicating. I did put a bump dot on the off switch so I could reach over the cook top and shut it off quickly without fumbling for the button. On the microwave I have two bump dots. One is for the popcorn setting and the other is at the one minute increment. Both are useful and I can direct myself from that point.

Another thing I do is place a small set of bells on the inside of the door handle. That way I am alerted to someone entering the house. It doesn’t happen often but it has helped me. I hate surprises.

A brief re-cap: Get organized, keep non-food away from foods, label as many things as you need to and put things back so you know where they are.

Obviously, these are just a few things that I do to keep myself as independent as possible.

Thanks for sharing the day with me.

Now, let’s all go outside to play.

Blessings, Denise

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