Low Vision Blog
Having challenges seeing the dial on the stove or oven? How about accessing the print on the washer and dryer dials? I know the microwave keypad is also a challenge for many folks... This week, I am passing along helpful hints to mark your home and items with tactile markings so your fingers can do the work for you, or by way of using the contrast of the markings to your advantage. Some of the recommendations this week come from "textbook examples", and others come from tried and true methods from clients and patients I have worked with over the years.
Bump Dots: these little guys come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. Great for marking the microwave, stove, oven, washer, and dryer. Everyone likes something different- if you'd like to consult with me, we can figure out a system that is exactly for you!
Colored electrical tape: this is a great resource, and very inexpensive. The tape is used more for the contrast and/or bold effect as opposed to the tactile element like the bump dots. You could use this for just about anything, but a couple years ago, I used it on the sides of a client's handrails on her walker. She had issues with depth perception, and by highlighting the rails on either side, it acted as a guide for her hand placement.
Puffy paint: I love this stuff! Again, very inexpensive, and can be picked up at any craft store. This is available in a variety of colors and works well on surfaces that the bump dots will not. I have marked phones, remote controls, stereos, and CD players with puffy paint. Puffy paint can also be used on oven and stove dials, as well as the washer and dryer. Having trouble reading the settings on the thermostat? Puffy paint works very well for marking the thermostat. This paint is ideal for making large print letters and numbers if you are trying to get some files made or become more organized.
Rubber bands: This is what I usually recommend when people tell me about all the times they have used the conditioner in the shower, when they really wanted the shampoo. Place rubber bands around the more dominant item- in this case, I think of shampoo being the dominant item when it comes to clean hair. When you go to reach for the bottle of shampoo, it should have the rubber bands, and the conditioner bottle will have nothing around it. Rubber bands can be used for many, many purposes. Canned food is another great idea, and frozen foods too. You can devise your own system; maybe your chicken soup will have one rubber band, and tomato soup will have two rubber bands. Frozen peas, one rubber band, and frozen broccoli, two rubber bands.... the list could go on and on. My favorite piece of advice for rubber band use came from a dear lady I worked with years ago. She had several medications to take each day, at different times of the day. She could never remember if she had taken them or not. To solve that problem, she placed rubber bands around each medicine bottle. When she took the pill from the bottle, she would remove the rubber bands. That way, when she went back later in the day, she could feel at ease knowing that she did indeed take the pill because there was not a rubber band on the bottle. At the beginning of each day, or the night before, she would place the rubber bands back on the bottles for the next day.
There are hundreds of marking devices available. I try to recommend items that are inexpensive and easy to use. Do not hesitate to contact me if you wish to discuss what system may be helpful for you.