Protective technique for travel

Patients who have low vision often bump into things even inside their homes. There are several techniques to orient people and help them feel safe: trailing as well as upper and lower body protective techniques.

To use trailing, a person extends his or her arm about a foot in front and moves along the wall by touching it with the back of the hand. This allows someone to maintain a straight course and can be used with either protective technique.

To protect the upper body, especially the face, extend the stronger arm at shoulder height then bend the elbow at 90 degrees with palm outward, fingers curled in and about 8-10 inches from the body. The lower body protective technique involves extending the arm at waist high, 8-10 inches from the body, with palm toward the body. These techniques help to avoid bumps and bruises and increase confidence in independent mobility.

Thank you to Susan Gelfman, one of our occupational therapists, for this article.