1. Looking Through Someone Else's Eyes
Changes in Vision
As we change, our eyes change.
With age, it becomes difficult to tell colors apart, especially greens and blues. This happens because the lens of the eye becomes yellow and less flexible.
It becomes harder for the eyes to adjust to changes in light. Older people may have to take time to adjust to the light in a room after coming in from outside.
It is also difficult to adjust to sunlight after being inside because of glare.
If there isn't enough light, it is very easy for an older person to trip over or run into things they cannot see.
Sometimes, older people can't see things as sharply as they once could.
It is sometimes difficult for older people to judge distances.
Older persons may not recognize objects until they are quite close to them. They may not have enough time to move out of the way before they trip over the object or run into it.
- Experiencing what it is like to have vision loss.
- Relating to others
Items from "immediate aging kit"
- yellow- or amber-colored glasses
- telephone book
- pen or pencil
- blue- and green-colored paper to cut into shape of an arrow
What To Do
You can experience what a loss in vision is like for an older person using sunglasses with yellow lenses.
Put the glasses on and read the scenario below. Then try to do it.
(Remeber to leave your glasses on!)
Look for colored items in the room. Especially look for items that are blue and green. Now read the following scenario and answer the questions below.
Imagine you have just landed in a strange airport and the flight attendant announces you are to follow the green arrows to the baggage area. When you get off the plane, you see arrows that look similar in color pointing to both the left and right. Can you tell which of the arrows are green?
- Hold up one blue and one green arrow. Which is the green arrow? How difficult is it to distinguish between blue and green wearing amber-colored glasses?
- What other colors are you having trouble seeing?
- Were any of these activities difficult for you? Why?
- How did you feel when you were trying to identify the green arrow from the blue arrow?
- How can understanding about vision problems help you relate to older people?