For the 314 million visually impaired individuals and the 45 million blind individuals in the world, as estimated by the World Health Organization, daily tasks that seeing people take for granted can become difficult challenges. From getting dressed in the morning to cooking breakfast, a blind person must organize his life meticulously to live independently. If you're working with a blind person, helping him with his daily living activities can give him more confidence in living independently and organizing his life.
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Dressing and Personal Care
When you care for a blind person, one of the basic skills you'll need to teach is grooming, dressing and personal care. A blind individual will likely want to take care of showering, shaving and other grooming in private, so positioning the right tools in the same places every day can help your charge reach for the right ones. Organize her closet together, and look for clothes that go on easily, suggests Nita Walker of the Priestley Smith School, writing for the Royal National Institute of Blind People. If necessary, lay clothes out the night before so your blind charge can get dressed on his own.
Cooking and Organization
The kitchen can seem like an intimidating place for the blind, which is why safety is of the utmost importance when caring for a blind individual. Choosing tools and utensils with large, soft grips can make a blind person more comfortable with cutting and feeding. An effort to organize the kitchen so that items are always in the same place can help with finding certain items in the kitchen. Doing the prep work can also help your charge be independent. Leave chopped fruits and vegetables in the fridge with Braille labels or raised pictures representing the food inside on the lids of the containers, suggests the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services.
Communication and Technology
As a blind person becomes more proficient in dealing with her condition, it's a good time to introduce communication and technology into her life. Computer programs for the blind use voice and sound to read out web pages, while Braille keyboards make it easy to keep in touch via email. Classes and workshops exist to help the blind learn how to comfortably weave technology into their lives. This also allows for important opportunities to interact with people in society, both blind and seeing, to maintain a healthy social life.
Transportation and getting around can be a serious challenge in the life of a blind individual. Whether your charge uses a cane, a seeing-eye dog or other sight tools, using public transportation and going for a simple walk can become a chore. Taking frequent and simple trips around the community can help your blind charge feel more comfortable with getting around town, notes the American Foundation for the Blind. Try and let him lead the way as often as possible, correcting only if his safety is in danger. This will give him confidence and the ability to travel without an aide.