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Vision and Reading aids for Elderly

There is nothing better than reading a good book. But, if you read a lot you know that in some cases reading may affect your vision. Especially if you read in poor lighting. Aids like glasses, magnifiers or reading lights can drastically improve vision.

Many experience pain in thumbs while reading. Think about some kind of holder, you can make it yourself easily. There are also other solutions like an audiobook. Read on to find more about devices that help with reading.

What causes Reading problems as we Age?

Our eyes change, even more as we reach our 60s and beyond. As we get older, we lose visual sensitivity, particularly to fine visual detail.

The most common changes are caused by a condition called Presbyopia. It occurs when the lens in the eyes becomes less flexible and you start to lose focus. If you start to notice such vision changes, don’t hesitate to discuss symptoms with your eye doctor.

There are some solutions that you should implement by yourself. You can help yourself with vision and reading aids. Below are some gadgets that can help to ease vision and reading problems.

Low vision Aids for the Elderly

Reading Lights

Exposure to dark light causes a dry eye, and shortsightedness, in the long run, also too powerful light is harmful to the eyes. A great reading light is not about brightness alone. Our eyes have evolved over millions of years under natural light. So you should try to find a natural balanced bright light beam close to the daylight.

Another aspect is the design of a reading light, we all have different needs, we have different reading habits. Some like to use adjustable lamps while others use fixed light. Those who read in bed are always looking for reading lights for the bedroom.


The dioptre on pre-made reading glasses is usually the same in both lenses and is not customized for individuals. So if you already have some difficulties with your eyes it is probably best to have your eyes examined and see if you need a prescription for glasses.

Wearing reading glasses should fix your vision. If you don`t have the right lens, glasses won’t damage your eyes. However, they may cause headaches, eye strain, and nausea.


There are two types of magnifiers, optical and electronic. If you want to see objects in close proximity this is the right aid for you.

The optical magnifier is simple to use handheld device. When you use it you have the ability to adjust the distance between objects and magnifier which helps to read texts and view photos more easily. Many have built-in illumination.

An electronic or video magnifier is an alternative for opticals. If you have a smartphone you have it, you just need to make some small setups. You can magnify images or texts, adjust colors and zoom in or foom out.

In case you don’t want to use it on your phone you should consider portable electronic magnifier, which can be a great help when shopping. Most of these are also capable of multiple additional magnification levels. Some can be plugged into a computer or TV.

Large Prints

Large prints are a bigger format of literature, documents, and art to adjust to people who have poor vision. The font size in large prints is generally 16  to 18 points, whereas regular print is 10 to 12.

Most common are book reprints of the original size, which contains most of the best sellers of various genres. There are several publishers that stock such literature so the senior citizens can sustain their love of reading.

Reading aids for the Elderly

Reading Holders

This reading aid prevents spine pain and enables reading without having hands glued to the book pages. It helps to position reading literature at a height and angle to make reading more comfortable. The reading holder also promotes an upright, orthopedically correct position. There are different kinds of stands designed for different situations.


Bookmarks don’t only mark the page where you left. It can also provide other features. Today’s market offers many different useful bookmarks. You can choose from bookmark magnifiers that are made of a lightweight magnifying glass.

There are also bookmark magnets that are designed to wrap around the page. Have you ever heard about a digital bookmark? It has a timer on it, so you can measure the time of reading. If your book constantly closes itself, check the weight page holder.


When eyesight deteriorates, either due to illness or advanced age, audiobook could be a helpful alternative to reading. You can call it also voice recordings of the text. Most public library systems offer audiobook downloads online.

It is possible to listen to it on multiple devices such as smartphone, tablet, smartwatch or computer… If you use a computer, install an audiobook application that is easy to use. Also, when you look for an audiobook player, search for a device with a simple user interface.

You can still choose a standard music player. Make sure that the player has the ability to plug in USB. Choose the player that doesn’t have too many buttons and that the volume is easily adjustable.

What’s next?

I hope this article gave you good insights into reading aids. Stay active, keep reading, use reading aids. In case you are looking for other gadgets you should check tips on these useful products. If you are aging in place check how to make a senior-friendly home.

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