Open a PDF version to print this topic

HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Self-care for low vision & blindness

Tāu ake whakaora i te tirohanga pōhara

Larger text

To increase the text size on this page, click the green "+" button at the top right of the page until the text is big enough.

Learning to cope with low vision can take time. The following suggestions can make living with low vision easier and safer.

Use contrasting colours

Light it up

Label everything

Make it bigger

Keep it tidy

It's easier to find things if you know where they are. If you aren't used to keeping things tidy, it may take some time to get into the habit, but life will be easier once you do.

Stay safe

Seek help

Asking for help is often the hardest thing to do but it can make a big difference to your life. Staff in many shops are trained to help people with low vision. Even passersby are often happy to help if you ask them.

Blind Low Vision NZ offers recreation and support services, and Age Concern can also help you find services and support.

Use the buddy system

Low vision is common among older people. As one of the side effects of low vision is a feeling of loneliness, finding a friend or support system in your community can be very helpful. It can also help you learn tips and tricks that have worked for other people in the same situation.

Be patient

Coping with low vision isn't simple. Developing your own tricks and methods takes time and effort. Go easy on yourself and keep trying. Eventually, you'll find the best solutions for your specific visual impairment.


It's important that you keep your interests, hobbies and social contacts. Once you've decided how to do things, practise doing them. The more you practise your new methods, the easier things will become.

Written by occupational therapy liaison, Canterbury Initiative. Adapted by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed March 2023.


Page reference: 127683

Review key: HILOV-121114