Recreational Activities for Seniors with Visual Impairments
A Question“I would like to help a Social Director in an Independent Living Facility find activities or games that could be played by people with visual impairments from conditions such as macular degeneration or glaucoma. Are there any large maps/puzzles (like those for children) so that one could be challenged to name alphabetically the states, countries in Europe, Africa, etc.? I am concerned that our residents are bored with a lack of activities to do.”
Answer: Many Games Can Be AdaptedPeople with macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy enjoy playing the same games as people without vision loss. There are adaptive versions of many games, although an adaptive version is not needed by many people with low vision.
Board GamesSpecialty companies offer adaptive versions of many popular board and table games, including dominoes, checkers, Monopoly, and Scrabble. Adaptive dominoes are white with raised black dots that can be seen by many people with low vision, especially if played on a table or cloth that creates a significant contrast, i.e. black or another dark color. The outlines of the white dominoes stand out against the dark background, allowing the players to locate where to place their next domino. The dark background also helps to reduce glare, which is often a problem for people with impaired vision. Because these dominoes have raised dots, they can also be used by people with no vision. Checkers is another favorite game. The contrast between the red and black squares of a regular checker set may be enough contrast for some players. Others may prefer the adaptive version with one set of square and another set of round checkers and a board divided by raised lines. You can learn more about adapted board games and everyday adaptations you can make to standard board games at the following links on VisionAware.org:
- Board Games
- Playing Bingo after Vision Loss
- Domines are Still in Style for People with Visual Impairment