Tag: elderly

When Where You Are Is Not Where You Want To Be  

This Blog Post is quite different than my other ones.  This one came to me over time and seemed worth sharing.  I’m trying to put into words a philosophy for dealing with my vision-loss. It’s an attitude I’m trying to live by.   Perhaps it will strike a chord with you. Here’s how this thought came to me.

I have more trouble seeing now than I did about a year ago.  I have a couple of routes that I can walk to get to the store, the coffeeshop and downtown.  One is more shaded by trees than the other, so when it’s hot I take the more shaded route. While the coolness is nice, it is also darker.  A year ago, I could make out the curves in the sidewalk and paths where the shade was deepest.

However, this year I realized that I no longer could see the path in those shaded spots.  It was disheartening to face the reality that my eyesight had declined so much so fast. I stood there soaking in what this meant.  After a bit, with no visual clues, my handy long white cane found and kept me on the path. I slowly get past this and other sections and back on my way.  

Over time, I started to try and see beyond the deeply shaded sections.  If I could make out where the path picked up beyond these sections, I’d aim for them.   Combining confidence that comes from using my long white cane, some eyesight and this method, I’d get through these spots more quickly.  Later, I realized that if I could see someone on the path ahead of me, I’d try to use them as a moving target.

It was on one of those walks that it dawned on me that such a practice could be an allegory for the way one lives their life.  There will be times in our lives when we may feel lost, getting nowhere or unhappy with our current situation.

But if you have a big goal or a series of smaller goals, you have that spot in the path ahead to aim for.  If you don’t have such goals or if they are vague, work on them. Having goals and working towards them can be very helpful.

I also noticed that If someone was a bit ahead of me on the trail, I could use them to point the way forward. I translate this to mean, find or learn about someone who has walked a path similar to yours.  Especially if they are now in a “place” more like where you’d like to be. Guides, role models and mentors can make all the difference as you travel along your path.
Image of Edward, owner of EZ2SeeEdward Cohen is the creator of the EZ2See® weekly planner/calendar.

Finding Stuff, Part 2: Knowing Your Clothes

Finding stuff and then knowing what it is

Here are some tips to consider when poor eyesight impacts identifying your clothing items. What ever you do, it has to work for you.  Too many rules and it might not work over the long term.  You know yourself.  Find the right balance of simplicity and complexity that will help you.

  • The fewer variety of colors, patterns and styles you have, the less confusing it will be.
  • I love safety pins.  I use them to keep pairs of socks together before tossing them in the hamper.
  • By putting the pin at the top, heel or tow of the sock pair, it tells me the sock colors or material.
  • Do you have a pullover top that you have trouble identifying the front from the back?  Put a safety pin inside the rear collar.

Make your Closet a Helpful System

  • Organize related items by hanging them on the left or right side. If there are other natural dividers on the closet rod, use them.
  • Use different types of hangers for similar things.
  • Point the open end of the hanger hook facing towards or away for similar items.
  • Hang tops and bottoms that go together on the same hanger.
  • Let which side the buttons on a button up top face mean something.

If you swap out seasonal Items, maintain any order you’ve created by storing similar items together.

As I’ve said before, there are professionals trained in methods that will make your life easier.  Track down where you can find them.  Your state will have a program for either seniors or the blind.   Start by reaching out to them.

Lastly, if you have systems that work for you, please share them with me.

Image of Edward, owner of EZ2SeeEdward Cohen is the legally-blind creater of the EZ2See® weekly planner/calendar.

 

Now where did I put that?  Breaking unconscious habits

In my last Blog Post, I said I would begin to discuss those unconscious habits that may no longer serve you and what to do about them.  This post discusses the all too common situation of briefly setting down an item and then not being able to quickly find it.

Before I start, let’s agree that it will help if you assign a place for an item and then always put it back there.  This is, of        course, much easier to do if small children aren’t around.

The key to breaking habits is to pause at the critical moment to consider your options and only then continue.  At first you won’t regularly pause.  But keep trying, eventually you will.

Here are some options to consider when you pause:

Option 1:  Get a grip

Consider not setting the item down at all.  Obvious, right?  If you don’t set it down, you won’t be looking for it all over.  Evaluate what you’re holding.  For example if it is something small and light like a bread bag twisty, you might grasp it lightly between your teeth.  You’re unlikely to misplace it there.

Option 2: Got pockets?

If clenching it in your teeth isn’t appropriate, what about putting it in your pocket, assuming you have one?  Of course, you’ll have to remember you put it there.   Think of the old joke of the person looking for their glasses only to find them resting on their forehead.

Option 3: Corner the problem

Consider that a 3 foot by 5 foot table has over two thousand square inches.  Plus, if the table has stuff on it or your vision is poor, finding what you set down can be even harder.

Now consider that most tables or counter tops likely have no more than four corners.  If you get in the habit of setting things down on corner, you’ll only need to look in one or two places which could greatly reduce your frustration finding things.

Even kitchen counters may have inside or outside corners.  If not, consider the corners of those fixed objects that sit on the counter top.

My next post will deal with reducing and dealing with dropping things.

When I get an order through the mail

One of the major things that motivated me to turn this calendar idea from something just for me into what it is now, was  the feeling I got hearing the comments from those first enthusiastic buyers.  I’d think to myself, “Wow, I’m really helping someone”.   Could this be what a teacher, medical professional or the like experiences as they go about their work?  How few of us ever get to experience such a feeling.   

As each handwritten first time or repeat mail order form arrives, it reminds me of that original feeling.  Sometimes people give me feedback via the website or in a note stuck in the envelope.  How rewarding it is to hear that this simple product is making a difference in people’s daily life.  

While orders to resellers and over the Internet to individuals are a vote of confidence, these mail-order customers are somehow special to me.  I hope I never lose this feeling.

Finally! A Calendar You Can See ®

Image of Edward with an EZ2See Calendar

As someone dealing with declining eyesight, I bought weekly calendars claiming to be large-print.  Yet I still had to write over the numbers with a bold marker to make them easier to see.  Also, their writing space wasn’t large enough for me to write big.  That frustration gave birth to this calendar.

50% Savings on all orders while supplies last! Now only $10.95!

 The unique features of this calendar are designed specifically for anyone who needs large, high-contrast print and/or an extra-large amount of writing space. See its pages below.

Click on a page image to enlarge.  Click your Back button to return.

Front cover of the 2019 EZ2See calendar
Rear cover of the EZ2See Calendar
July / August View
This the July pages for the EZ2See calendar
"If Lost" page of the EZ2See calendar
Lined pages of the EZ2See Calendar

Calendar Features 

  • 8.5″ x 11” pages on heavy-weight paper
  • Laminated covers for moisture-resistance and durability
  • High contrast black fonts 10X larger than newsprint
  • Huge daily “cells” each nearly equal to two 3”x5” cards
  • Black page edges – no more writing off the paper
  • Six wide bold-lined pages at the end for your notes
  • Black spiral bound so you can fold it in half and lay it flat
  • Runs from December,  2018, to mid-January, 2020
  • About as thick as a standard wooden pencil

I do love this calendar and find it so easy to use and see. You have thought of everything by making the cover water resistant, making a place for my ID if it’s lost, and monthly calendar for those wanting to see the entire month. Plus so much space to write daily stuff. My Rehab teacher is trying to get me to use the calendar on my phone, but I’m not too thrilled about it. Guess I am a bit old fashioned about some of this technology. Ha!
Keep making it!

June Tesdall
Read additional testimonials here.

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