Do you know anyone who struggles with low vision or macular degeneration? These health conditions are more prevalent with older individuals, but macular dystrophies can have the same effect on youths as well. Macular degeneration is a condition that gradually destroys sharp, central vision, making simple everyday tasks, such as reading or driving, virtually impossible.
Health and vision issues that are age-related can be very sneaky, and those who struggle with macular degeneration may have only recently started to notice the effects, as there is no pain involved. However, there’s no reason for anyone, young or old, to let a visual impairment rob them of independence.
How can I notice signs of vision problems? For elders, it can be difficult to swallow one’s pride and accept assistance from others. However, when vision is at stake, there may not be a choice involved. If you provide care for any of your elders, make sure to notice when they are having trouble seeing. Frequent headaches, miscalculations and misspellings, worsening handwriting – these are all indications of vision problems. Make no mistake, vision loss is a serious issue – people can make some amusing faces while they are squinting at some fine print, but the same vision issues can be deadly behind the wheel of a car.
Independent individuals may not have an easy time admitting that they need help, but if you pick up on their behaviors, you can offer your help anyway. Visiting an opthalmologist for an annual check-up is the best way to keep track of vision problems. Visits can be scheduled more often for those who need it. If there are elders in your family, it may not be a bad idea to ask them when they last had their vision checked, and offer to help them make and keep their next appointment.
What can I do to help at home? There are some measures that can be taken to improve the quality of life for those who suffer from low vision. Many adaptive devices are available for purchase today, designed specifically to help those with vision problems.
It can be hard to read small text, especially on screens, but the size of the text on almost any device can be adjusted, so look into the display settings on smartphones or computers. Magazines and books can also be read easily with a stationary or portable magnifier device. Having one of these devices can mean reclaiming the ability to read a book in your favorite chair!
There are many text-to-speech programs available, which enables the user to dictate messages to the computer or have the computer read text out loud. This can be helpful for applications on your mobile device, including texting, as well as programs on your computer! For any grandparent in today’s world, being able to text a grandchild or participate with them online via various social networks is an easy way to develop a genuine connection between generations.