Looking after yourself

Looking after yourself when you have macular disease can be very challenging. Here are some simple tips that might help overcome some of those challenges.

Day-to-day personal care

It can be very difficult identifying the items you need day to day to look after yourself, such as shampoo or soap.

By putting different brightly coloured tape around shampoo and conditioner bottles, it makes them easier to tell apart.

Similarly, buying soap that is a different colour to your soap dish and a brightly coloured toothbrush will help make them stand out against the background of your bathroom.

Try applying toothpaste directly to your tongue to avoid missing the toothbrush when brushing your teeth.

Smart showers can connect to your smart speaker, meaning you can turn the shower on and off and change the temperature using your voice.

To ensure you can get in and out of the bath or shower safely, buy a brightly coloured non-slip bathmat.

You can peg your shoes together, and buy socks all the same colour, so you’ll know that they always match. When it comes to clothing, you could sew a different shaped button for each colour on the inside tags so it’s easier to differentiate between similar colours such as black and navy blue.

Smartphone apps can be used to help identify different coloured items of clothing and help put outfits together. Some can connect you to another person who can help to identify items using the camera.

A small torch or spotlights inside your wardrobe will help you to identify items of clothing much more easily.

In the kitchen

Good lighting is important throughout your home, particularly if you have a visual impairment. But additional lighting may be needed for activities such as preparing and cooking food, making cups of tea or other close work.

Colour contrast is also important, so use brightly coloured utensils and cutlery which are easier to see against a kitchen counter top. Brightly coloured plates, cups and glasses can also make food and liquids easier to see.

Using plain white labels on tins of food and then writing on them with a thick black pen will help you if you have trouble reading food labels.

There are lots of aids available to help make things easier in the kitchen. One of the simplest things you can do is to place tactile bump-on stickers on appliances, so you can feel which setting is which.

Using a liquid level indicator can help prevent under or over pouring drinks, as it will beep to alert you when you reach the correct level.

Talking appliances such as microwaves, scales or egg timers are available and may make your time in the kitchen easier.

Here are some additional quick tips that may help in the kitchen:

  • Reduce preparation and measuring by buying ready-chopped fruit, vegetables, cheese and meat, and sugar lumps rather than loose sugar
  • Organise food items together (for example all tins of beans in a line from back to front of cupboard)
  • Use rubber matting to stop things sliding off trays

For more information or questions on things that may help with day-to-day challenges, call our Advice and Information Service on 0300 30 30 111.