Below you’ll find a list of items that should be considered when choosing a retirement or assisted living community for someone experiencing vision loss.
Accessibility of community in general:
- Is it easy and safe to get around?
- Do hallways intersect at odd angles?
- Are there large open spaces with few landmarks?
- Are there multiple sets of elevators that could be easily confused?
- Are there color and/or texture contrast in their flooring and baseboard choices?
- Are curbs and the edges of steps well marked?
- Are hallways well lit with even lighting?
- Is there a way to control glare in community areas?
- Are signs in large print with high contrast as well as in braille?
- Did they use contrasting light switches, door way trim, hand rails?
- Did they limit the use of patterned carpets?
- Are there throw rugs, waxed or slippery floors that could present a tripping hazard?
- Are mail boxes marked with large print, in a well lit area?
- Does the staff have knowledge of vision loss and local rehabilitation services?
- Do staff members provide sighted guide; if not, is the administration committed to providing training to the staff on an ongoing basis?
- Are residents encouraged to eat in the community setting?
- Will food be delivered to the room, if desired?
- Will they provide assistance to the dining room, if needed?
- Is glare control possible?
- Do the tables and chairs contrast with the flooring?
- Do the dishes and tables contrast with each other?
- Is food served cafeteria style or restaurant style?
- Do they have readable menus or someone to read the menu aloud?
- Is the wait staff trained to assist individuals with vision loss?
- Do they identify what is being served and describe the location of each food on the plate?
- Do they place glasses, bowls, etc. in the same place each time?
- Do they have talking books, electronic magnifiers, accessible computers, large print books or games specifically for residents with vision loss?
- Are they able to assist with assistive devices or products the resident already owns?
- Will they provide a large print activity schedule on paper with good contrast?
- Do they have a low vision support group?
- Is their recreation equipment marked with tactile dots so that someone with vision loss can use it?
- Are volunteers or a reading service available to help with bills, important correspondence and shopping?
Individual Living Areas:
- Do the floors, walls and furniture contrast with each other?
- Are the refrigerator, thermostat, microwave, or stove marked with high contrast or tactile dots?
- Are call bells easily accessible and marked for visibility and ease of use?
- Is it possible to control glare with blinds or rheostats on lights?
- Are there enough lighting options to allow for reading in desirable areas?
- Is there good color contrast between the floor, the walls and the fixtures in the bathroom?
- Can reflected glare be minimized on shiny surfaces?
- Do the grab bars contrast with the background in the tub/shower?
- Are washers and dryers marked for ease of use?
- Are accessible vehicles provided for medical appointments, shopping and/or other destinations?
- Is accessible public transportation available?
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