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Sometimes it seems unpleasant to conceive or even entertain the sad stipulations that people who are elderly and disabled encounter during the course of every day life.

Things that so-called “normal” folks take for granted, persons who are elderly and disabled find it difficult to comprehend or even manoeuvre.

Let us for a moment consider people who are visually impaired, having to purchase eye drops at a pharmacy and trying to look through the different brands on the shelf. At once they become incapacitated in some form or other as the inscriptions on these boxes are written in very small type. To base this position from a hypothetical point of view, it leaves anyone who is faced with this problem in a bit of trouble.

Quite often people who are elderly and disabled find themselves needing assistance to negotiate through the process of trying to read the instructions on labels. This is not something new. For a long time the question of how feasible it is to develop the size of the letters has been the focal point for these folks. It is only natural or reasonable for those who print the information on labels to apply some consideration to the ones who need to read what is there.

It is said that the smaller the print the more information that can be printed. That may be a logical statement, however, thought must be given to those who are impaired. What are they to do when confronted with information printed in very small type.

Some might question whether the actions of those printing the information are in good faith. From my point of view, I believe they are genuine. The interest of these folks is what is in question.

On several occasions it was suggested that a collective approach be made to the relevant authorities to develop a concept to deal with the improvement of this reading calamity. I have been noticing the plight of these folks for quite some time and wondering whether anything is being done to visit this odd situation.

I once saw an elder person in a grocery store trying to read the instructions on the label of an item. Just looking at the way in which the struggle ensued it was easy to deduce that they were having problems so I had to intervene.

Not all the time is an assistant present and you would therefore have to seek one out. This could be avoided by having the labels printed in a larger format.

Something that is simply overlooked is the lighting in places where these folks have to read labels. If the lighting is not bright enough then it will be difficult for those who are impaired to read the labels.

Added to that, if the colours of the label is not enhanced by the writing, this will also create some difficulty. If you combine weak lighting and labels that are difficult to read then you are in deep trouble.

At times comprehension of the instructions on labels tend to be confusing so reading them becomes a problem. If it is that the buyer wants to ensure that what is on the label pertains to them then it is necessary that comprehension be the key factor.

It is well known that pharmacies and grocery stores are two key areas that these folks go to on a regular basis and you’d better believe that there are challenges. If only a solution to this serious problem could be found then the trauma that is experienced by the ones who encounter these obstacles when they need to shop will surely be reduced. All the possibilities must be considered in order to solve and prevent the situation that is present.

An elder said to me once that they were struggling with an item from one of the areas mentioned. When they got home, to their great surprise, they had purchased the incorrect item because of the small writing on the label.

It would be conducive if an effort could be made by the ones in charge to ensure that labels meet the adequate requirement so that in the not too distant future labels on food and medicinal items would be legible enough so that folks who are elderly and disabled can cope with reading them.

Living in despair will always shake the balance of life so that a real and faithful view can remain possible. To those who are faith filled, the change is near. Never give up and we shall overcome.

In the spirit of growth.