Tips for the kitchen …
As with other tasks, one can continue cooking and baking, but you need to find an alternative way of doing things. Make a note to yourself every time you get frustrated because you can’t see. Then think of an interesting way to solve the problem to reduce future frustration.
- Listen when you pour water into a cup or mug. The tone gets higher as the cup gets fuller. You can even put the index finger of your other hand into the mug to feel the water level.
- Before pouring into a mug or measuring cup, place it in a shallow bowl. This way, if you mess it is not all over the counter. Just tip the excess into the sink or bin … depending on what you are pouring.
- If you can’t see your measuring cups you can mark them by using an elastic band wound around the handles at various distances. You could also cut ridges into plastic handles or rims. e.g. I have cut ridges into the right hand side of the handles for the 1/3 and 2/3 cup measures and thee ¼, 1/2 and ¾ have ridges on the left hand side. The 1 cup measure has a notch at the tip of the handle.
- Stick-on rind stones are available at most craft and stationary stores. They are useful for marking oven and stove temperatures and digital microwaves. It provides a bump which is easy to feel. You can also use stick on door bumpers which are available in the hardware store.
- Use bold contrasting colours to make you kitchen utensils visible. We have dark counter tops and I continually lost the navy blue oven gloves on them. Just one small change can reduce your frustration levels. I passed on the oven gloves and made beige ones!
- Keep the counter tops clear of jars, bottles and other kitchen containers that may clutter the backdrop of your workspace. Try and work on a plain coloured board/tray or mat to increase the contrast beneath your hands.
- When cutting vegies and fruit get used to the flat side of the knife blade brushing past the middle section of, middle finger – finger tips and nails are tucked under out of harm’s way. This way you can stand up straight not having to bend over to see what you are cutting.
- Elastic bands are useful for putting around the containers where you are not able to read the contents. Eg jam jar has no elastic, but marmalade does.
- Transparent jugs/ vases/ glasses are disposable items in our household when they are not put in a particular spot by…… Mr. Nobody. Coloured rim or coloured stem glasses are useful. When we use our special crystal glasses, the family know to put the empty glasses on the window sell above our sink. Any glass put into the sink may be crushed by a heavy pot or a pile of dishes. Goodbye family heirlooms!
Lighting in the kitchen …
The amount of light you need to function optimally will depend on your particular eye condition, some people prefer less glare and so a low wattage yellow light is best. For others a blue/white light helps them to see better. We have small florescent tubes tucked underneath the wall cupboards and shining down onto the countertop, but not pointing into my eyes.
If your kitchen has dark tiles and cupboards, consider painting them a lighter colour.
If you have a dark pantry or cupboard it is useful to place white card at the back of the shelf to reflect more light into it.
A desk lamp or head torch, can also be useful to focus light onto a counter or the dining room table if it helps you to see what you are doing.
Serving food …
It is very difficult to see food that is served on a floral or patterned plate. A plain couloured or white plate is most suitable.
White rice and mash potato can ‘disappear’ on a white plate!
Tell your eyesight challenged person where the food is on the plate e.g. meat is at 12 o’clock, rice at 3 o’clock, greens at 6 o’clock and pumpkin at 9 o’clock
Buffet nightmare …
Trying to serve oneself at a buffet can be very confusing. Often the decorations and arrangements are very beautiful, but make it difficult to see what is there. In the days when I was too proud to ask for help, I put chocolate sauce on my meat instead of gravy and custard on my broccoli instead of cheese sauce ……. I was not aiming to eat sweet and sour!! Nowadays I ask a friend if I can walk with them and let them help me. They get to practice their adjectives and it is usually a lot of fun.