One of the challenging aspects of living with low vision can be our personal care. Issues like hygiene and grooming can undermine our sense of independence and confidence.
Organization is key. Explain to family members how important it is for you to be able to find your things exactly where you left them, thus eliminating the need to go searching for items that are not in their designated place.
- In the bathroom, items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush/comb, and toiletries should be kept in the same place, on a shelf or a rack in the shower.
- It is helpful to buy shampoo, conditioner and body wash in containers differentiated by shape or color. If you do end up with products that have similar packaging, use bump dots to identify one from the other.
- Getting toothpaste on the toothbrush can be a bit of a hassle. Some people find squeezing some toothpaste into a small container and dipping the brush into the paste is easier. Some people just prefer to squeeze a dab of paste onto their index finger and then transfer from finger to brush.
- When shaving, use your sense of touch to apply the shaving cream, then slowly begin shaving and use your fingers to check for smoothness. An electric shaver is a very good option, but the shave may not always be as close.
- Applying makeup can become a challenge so it’s best to stick with what you know. Best to keep colors natural and always blend well. Liquid eyeliner may need to be substituted for a less exacting line of eyeshadow applied with a wet brush. Ask for the help of a friend or professional when buying new makeup and be open about your visual impairment.
- Good lighting, along with a magnifying mirror, is key to good shaving and makeup application. Magnifying mirrors are available in models that are free-standing, wall mounted or suctioned to the bathroom mirror.
- Take time to choose and look over your clothing choice for the day. If you are not completely sure everything is clean and neat, ask someone. It’s always a good idea to have stain removing wipes on hand for the spot that may have slipped by.
Staying organized and sticking to a familiar routine will also help get you off to an excellent start each day.
Author: Alice Massa, OTR