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Senior Care and Vision Impairment

I hope all of you have been enjoying the summer so far! With so much to see and do during this relaxing time, it’s important to keep our loved ones and seniors in the mix.

For those who are challenged by vision impairment, taking part in summer activities may be more challenging. Fortunately, if you are a senior caregiver or companion you can help. Today there are a variety of options that will help your loved one continue to live out his or her life to the fullest despite limitations.

One of my favorite resources, The Savvy Senior, offers some great tips on coping with low vision. Did you know that according to the National Eye Institute, 3.3 million Americans age 40 and older currently live with low vision or blindness—and that number is expected to double over the next 30 years? Those who are affected can often sink into depression, suffer hip fractures or falls and often become socially isolated.

At FirstLight Home Care, our companion providers are dedicated to helping seniors cope through the trying time of vision loss. And while there may be no easy solutions for the problem, we can certainly help brighten their lives. How can you do the same?

Rehab Ready: Vision rehabilitation services can help your loved one see the light when it comes to their vision impairment. Today there are hundreds of vision rehabilitation agencies and clinics across the country that can aid families and caregivers alike. While rehab services can not restore lost eyesight, it can help your love ones maximize their remaining vision while equipping them with the tools and techniques that will allow them to live more independently—regardless of if they are seeking in-home care or not.

Available Resources: Many support programs are available in areas across the country. The nonprofit organization Lighthouse International provides easy ways to search for help on its comprehensive website. For caregivers who can’t locate vision rehabilitation or support services, the American Foundation for the Blind created a special site for senior seniors with low vision. Additionally, the nonprofit public charity of VisionAWARE offers a slew of information including videos and articles providing everyday solutions to living with vision loss. As a caregiver, find helpful tips for adapting a home to make it safer and easier to navigate as well as advice on traveling safely outside of the home.

The “New Old Age,” an engaging blog that runs on The New York Times’ website, posted an interesting piece on free eye care services for seniors through the EyeCare America program. Read more about the benefits there and find out what programs may be available in your area.

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