By Jackie Brodsky Marr – Infinity Occupational Therapist –
Close your eyes and try to set the washing machine to your regular settings. Close your eyes and try to set the oven to 350. Now open your eyes. If you had trouble doing these activities of daily living, imagine how it must feel for the many seniors who are presented with these challenges daily, due to LOW VISION and or being legally blind. Low vision is a chronic medical condition that means that even when wearing glasses or contact lenses, people find everyday tasks difficult to do.
Vision loss is becoming a major public health problem. The American Foundation for the Blind estimates that 21.2 million Americans 18 years of age and over have vision loss. Most people develop low vision because of eye diseases and health conditions like macular degeneration, cataract, glaucoma, and diabetes. A smaller amount of people develop vision loss after eye injuries or from birth defects. As a result of vision impairments, many people will present with an increased risk of falls, injury, social isolation, depression, and decreased independence in everyday activities.
How do you know if you have low vision? According to the National Eye Institute there are many signs that can signal vision loss. For example, even with your regular glasses, do you have difficulty:
- Recognizing faces of friends and relatives?
- Picking out and matching the color of your clothes?
- Reading street and bus signs or the names of stores?
Vision changes like these could be early warning signs of eye disease. Usually, the earlier your problem is diagnosed, the better the chance of successful treatment and keeping your remaining vision.
Occupational Therapists have the skills to evaluate functional deficits, develop and adapt appropriate interventions and locate the resources that can help prevent accidents and injuries. Occupational therapists with INFINITY HOMECARE can provide you with the tools needed to help your low vision. This includes writing guides, various magnifiers to assist in visualization of written material, and many tactile guides to help with your daily living activities.
Low vision rehabilitation can improve your quality of life. Our purpose is to help you function independently in your own environment and continue with their career, hobbies and other activities of daily living. Contact your physician if you feel you can benefit from an Occupational Therapy evaluation.
PORT CHARLOTTE – 941-629-1600
CAPE CORAL – 239-242-0541