Tips for the Visually Impaired: Marking and labeling and locating objects - Eye Talk by Annie Schlesinger
Similar-shaped items may be labeled with a product called “Hi-Marks”, which is a three-dimensional liquid, or with “Puff Paint”, sold at fabric and craft shops. Marks may be applied in Braille or using any coding system of dots or lines. Tactile stickers can be used or you can wrap items with rubber bands.
Record information with the voice-labeling system called “PenFriend.” Self-adhesive labels are applied and can be recorded and re-recorded. You can then scan and instantly play back the recording.
Currency can be folded in different ways to indicate the values, or you can keep different bills in different compartments of your billfold or purse. Try to practice identifying coins by feel. They are each unique.
One of my favorites is using raised dots or bumps to mark microwaves buttons, thermostats, keys, and much more. I put a dot on the top of a polarized electric cord and then easily know which way to plug it in.
Phone numbers are easy to memorize and find by touch. The number 5 usually has a raised bump on it for getting your bearings on the keypad.
Purchase a luggage locator to put in the outside pocket of your airport luggage and put the remote on your keychain. When the bags come out, hit the remote and you will hear your bag beeping. Similar items are available to attach to keys, etc. Use a brass safety pin coding system to identify color of clothing or use iron-on patches in various sizes and shapes. You can place a brass safety pin on one corner of a fitted sheet to identify and match the corner of the bed where that sheet corner goes.
Many banks and credit card companies offer a toll-free number where you can use your phone’s dial pad to access information on your account.
Being Organized, part 1 - Eye Talk by Annie Schlesinger
When I had the idea to write about being organized, I checked the topic at the Talking Book Library - there were 18 results - on BARD there were 19. Since I am organized and believe it is very important, I am going to share some of what I do. I also read about the subject; there are common themes in the literature.
I have a routine for many things, and if I don’t follow my routine, I have trouble. When I walk into my apartment, keys, sunglasses, purse, white cane and now mask, go in their place. I keep items in the same place all the time. If I have to look for keys, etc., it creates anxiety and wastes time.
A routine for medications can be a lifesaver. I use a container with days of week sections for my vitamins. Several prescription med containers are set out in a tray on the table every morning; then the med container is returned to storage when the med is taken. According to where the container is, I can tell if I have taken the medication. My morning and evening eye drops have their places and move when used - I call it my geographic memory. When I do something every day, like medications, I sometimes can’t remember later if I took them. Now I can check container location and have some certainty.
My clothing is labeled and hung in its designated section of the closet. I label with braille using puff paint to make the dots. I learned braille letters and numbers and can use it for writing addresses and phone numbers. There are several methods of labeling: safety pins can be used. For some things I use the Pen Friend which allows me to record information on a sticker.
As I lose more of my vision I am clearing out unnecessary items. It’s difficult; lots of good stuff that I wanted at one time. But now it’s clutter and too much to manage.
I am still working on how to manage my appointments and mail. I am using the iPhone and hope will be the answer. Then there is the kitchen, ordering medications, taxes and probably more.
I believe in working out the best system for me and sticking to it. It may take some experimenting but it makes life easier.
Being Organized, part 2 - Eye Talk by Annie Schlesinger
“A place for everything and everything in its place.” This is organization! But it must be done a all times even compulsively. I will give you some of my ideas which I hope will inspire you to adopt or develop your own systems.
My mail gets sorted immediately and I immediately discard anything possible. I used to save interesting items and articles but life changes and I can’t manage piles of paper. I have autopay for most of my bills. Receipts, such as store receipts I might need later, go into a basket to save for a time. The basket is periodically cleared out but it keeps the receipts available for a time and mostly I don’t have to sort through them.
My bank has an app where I can check my account online. I also can call a phone number and hear my recent transactions. Phone calls also work for transactions on my credit card.
As well as having medical names and numbers in my phone contact list I have a printed copy. I keep a list of current medications on the refrigerator and one ready to go with me for appointments. In the hospital we kept a chart for each patient. When my husband and I were traveling in our RV, I started a narrative (chart) or history of medications and medical problems with dates. I still do “my chart”; I feel it is important to know my history and dates when things occurred.
I have a daily routine. I try to live as stress free as possible. I don’t find routine boring; I believe routine gives me time for interesting activities. You may have a different or better way of doing things. Let me know; I’m eager to learn.