Activity 1 – Managing health and personal hygiene.

Alternate senses contributing to this activity are: touch, hearing, smell, and taste.

Assistive procedures helpful for maintaining this activity are:

  • Labeling.
  • Modifying or developing techniques.
  • Using low vision materials and non-optical devices or equipment.

We will begin with:


Similar-shaped items may be distinguished from one another by applying tactile stickers, or by wrapping them with rubber bands in different patterns.

Similar-shaped items may also be labeled with a product called “Hi-Marks”, a three-dimensional plastic liquid available in pen form. Marks may be applied in Braille or any coding system of dots or lines. Hi-Marks is sold by many low vision dealers.

An option to Hi-Marks is “Puff Paint”, sold at fabric and craft shops. Or make your own by mixing equal amounts of flour, salt, and water, and pour into a squeeze bottle.

Modifying or developing techniques

Here are suggestions for applying makeup and styling hair:

  • Use compact foundation, and apply with fingers, rather than an applicator.
  • To apply highlight and blush, use a finger, rather than a brush.
  • To apply mascara, keep your eyes fixed and move the brush toward you. Once lash and brush meet, swipe upward.
  • Omit eye liner, or consider having it permanently applied.
  • After applying makeup, use a finger to carefully wipe around your eyes to remove any signs of powder or slight touches of mascara.
  • About makeup in general? Keep it subtle.
  • Visit a hairdresser for advice about an easy cut to manage.
  • A dob of mousse or handcream run through the final style will smooth out flying hairs.
  • Finally, feel through your hairbrush regularly for buildup.

Continuing with suggestions for modifying or developing techniques, here are some miscellaneous ideas.

  • Feel for the water level when filling the tub or sink.
  • Identify toothpaste by smell, and confirm by taste.
  • Apply toothpaste to your teeth with a finger, rather than a brush.
  • Identify soap, deodorant, lotions, creams, scents, and makeup by the shape of the container, then confirm by sniffing them.
  • Nail polish and remover can be easily identified by smell.
  • Shaving is tactile, whether with a razor or an electric shaver. A mirror isn’t really necessary.
  • Manicuring and pedicuring can be accomplished by touch, but consider the possibility that professional foot care might be covered by your insurance. Also, don’t hesitate to ask for a manicure for a birthday or holiday gift.
  • Purchase an electronic hair trimmer for ears and nostrils.
  • Normal cleansing of ears and nostrils is quite possible with touch only, but again, don’t overlook professional ear care. Wax buildup is a potentially debilitating condition that is easily treated and may be covered by your insurance.
  • Put your hair dryer, curling iron, brush and other related supplies in a one-handled basket that fits under the sink.
  • In a washable open container place a clean face cloth, toothbrush, etc. This can be washed and cleaned by a visual caregiver on a very regular basis.
  • Make, and keep, health and teeth care appointments.

Using low vision materials and non-optical devices or equipment.

Use talking devices for self-monitoring health. Such devices available from low vision dealers are:

  • Weight scales.
  • Blood pressure monitors.
  • Blood glucose level monitors.
  • Thermometers.

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