Aging and Vision Loss

A Handbook for Families

Alberta L. Orr and Priscilla Rogers

Index


  • activities, everyday: adaptive techniques for, 94–119; assumptions about abilities and, 59–60; lack of interest in, 11, 53; learning new skills for, 13–14, 52–53, 79–80, 181; loss of self-confidence and, 48; symptoms of vision loss and, 25. See also leisure activities; vision rehabilitation services
  • adapting to light and dark, difficulty of, 21
  • adaptive techniques: for everyday activities, 94–119; for hearing loss, 147–148; for the home, 123–137; home survey checklist, 138–143. See also devices, for low vision; home and environment, adapting
  • adjusting to vision loss, 52–53, 64; adjustments for family members, 61–63; family dynamics and, 65–66, 81
  • AFB Directory of Services for Blind and Visually Impaired Persons in the United States and Canada (AFB Press), 14, 15, 169
  • African Americans, 30, 31
  • agencies for blind and visually impaired persons. See vision rehabilitation services
  • aggressive communication, 73
  • aging: Area Agencies on Aging, 15, 16, 17; challenges of, 46–48; normal vision changes and, 19–23; U.S. Administration on Aging, 15; vision loss and, 2–3, 12. See also eye conditions; health, overall
  • Alzheimer's disease, 146, 149–151. See also cognitive disabilities
  • American Council of the Blind, 90
  • American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), 13, 14, 83, 183, 186, 192
  • anger, 51, 58
  • apartment buildings, safety and, 138–139
  • apathy and listlessness, 54
  • appetite, lack of, 53
  • appliances: cognitive disabilities and, 149; cooking and, 187; labeling, 97–98, 99–100, 112, 132; safety and, 141
  • Area Agencies on Aging, 15, 16, 17
  • art, 178
  • Art Beyond Sight: A Resource Guide to Art, Creativity, and Visual Impairment (AFB Press), 178
  • arthritis, 145
  • assertive communication, 73–74
  • assistive listening devices, 146, 147, 148, 162
  • assumptions, about abilities, 59–60, 71
  • audio description, 178. See also video description
  • audiologists, 146–147
  • background noise, 147–148
  • banking. See finances
  • bathroom safety, 122, 123, 130, 142–143, 186
  • blind spots, diabetic retinopathy and, 32
  • blood pressure, 20, 145
  • blood sugar control, 31–32
  • blurry vision, 11, 24, 27; cataracts and, 33; diabetic retinopathy and, 32; glaucoma and, 30; macular degeneration and, 27, 28
  • books and videos, for learning adaptive techniques, 95–96
  • books on tape, 170. See also reading; Talking Books
  • braille, 85, 106, 133, 134, 157
  • brushing teeth, 110
  • canes: long white canes, 2, 113, 116, 123, 186; support canes, 151–152
  • caregiving: emotional reactions and, 54–61; maintaining independence and, 76–77; need for, 4–5, 8–9, 60; self-care for caregivers, 10–11
  • cars, entering, 115
  • case managers. See geriatric care managers
  • cataracts, 3, 12, 26, 32–33; diabetic retinopathy and, 31; glare and, 124, 128; vision simulators, 40, 44
  • CCTV. See closed-circuit television (CCTV)
  • central vision, 27
  • Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS), 33, 35–36
  • check-writing guides, 103–104, 106–107, 189
  • clock method, 102, 158, 187
  • clocks and watches, 109–110, 189–190
  • closed-angle glaucoma, 30
  • closed-circuit television (CCTV), 63, 85, 170, 172–173
  • clothing: cooking and, 100; matching, 59, 63, 85, 97, 190; organization of, 133–134, 141, 143
  • cognitive disabilities, 25, 74–75, 146, 149–151
  • color: print readability and, 171–172; reduced ability to see, 22, 25. See also color contrast, adaptive techniques and
  • color contrast, adaptive techniques and, 96, 98; clothing and, 133; cognitive disabilities and, 150; eating and drinking and, 102, 187–188; in the home, 122, 124, 129–131, 140, 151, 186, 191; orienting to the environment and, 113; print readability and, 171–172; writing and, 104
  • communication: about changes in the home and environment, 191; about vision rehabilitation services, 80; adaptive techniques for, 61–62, 188; describing vision loss, 39, 58–59; emotional reactions and, 51, 53, 54; family dynamics and, 12, 66–74, 77, 182; with health care professionals, 36–38; hearing loss and, 74–75, 146–149
  • community resources and support, 10, 159–163. See also senior centers; vision rehabilitation services
  • computers, 85, 92, 104–106, 106–107
  • confusion, 74–75. See also cognitive disabilities; hearing loss
  • contrast. See color contrast, adaptive techniques and
  • contrast sensitivity, reduced, 22, 33
  • cooking, adaptive techniques for, 99–101, 123, 131, 141, 177, 186–187. See also eating and drinking
  • counseling: for family members, 10, 55, 61; vision loss and, 15, 54, 74, 81, 90
  • deaf-blind specialists, 145, 148
  • deaths, of friends and family members, 46
  • dementia. See cognitive disabilities
  • denial, 50, 51, 55, 57
  • depression, 49, 50, 51, 53, 155; family dynamics and, 81; symptoms of, 53–54
  • depth perception, 12, 23, 112, 129, 150
  • devices, for low vision: computers and, 104–105, 105–106; for cooking, 99, 100–101, 187; cost of, 47, 103, 170, 173; for eating and drinking, 102–103, 187–188; everyday activities and, 63, 77, 117–119, 175–176, 179; large-print devices, 117–118, 134–135, 176–177, 184, 188, 189, 190; for reading, 34, 106, 157, 170, 172–174, 183–184; tactile markers and devices, 96, 97–98, 111, 112, 132, 177; talking devices, 105, 107, 109–110, 118, 132, 135, 136, 173, 190; vision rehabilitation services and, 13, 15, 85, 86, 92; for watching television, 63, 85, 170, 172–173, 175, 178, 185; for writing, 103–104, 106–107, 132, 142, 188, 189. See also adaptive techniques
  • diabetes, 31–32, 136, 190
  • diabetic retinopathy, 12, 26, 31–32, 40, 44
  • dimmer switches, 127
  • dining out, 157–158, 168, 170, 172
  • disability insurance, 16
  • doctors. See health care professionals
  • dog guides, 87–88, 113
  • doorways, safety of, 139–140, 151
  • double vision, 11, 24
  • driving. See transportation
  • dry eyes, 23
  • dry type macular degeneration, 27
  • Dymo tape labelers, 134
  • eating and drinking: adaptive techniques for, 101–103, 131, 143, 187–188; cognitive disabilities and, 149–150; difficulties with, 53; dining out, 157–158, 168, 170, 172; signs of vision loss and, 25
  • eccentric viewing, 2, 28–29
  • Eldercare Locator, 15, 117
  • electronic publishing, 173–174
  • embarrassment, feelings of, 48–49, 51, 59, 156, 178
  • emotional reactions: adjusting to, 52–53; to aging, 46–48; communication and, 66–67, 70; of family members, 54–61; learning about, 164; to vision loss, 45–46, 50–51, 53–54, 64, 191
  • employment, 8, 47, 153, 191–192. See also vocational services
  • envelope-addressing guides, 103, 104
  • environment, adapting. See home and environment, adapting
  • environmental cues, as adaptive technique, 96, 98, 124, 136–137
  • everyday activities. See activities, everyday
  • exercise, 20, 167, 168, 178–179
  • expectations, realistic, 59–60, 149
  • eye: normal changes in, 12, 19–23; protection of, tips for, 20
  • eye care professionals, 12, 20, 23–27, 32, 35, 36–38, 83, 167
  • eye charts, 13
  • eye color, changes in, 24
  • eye conditions: age-related, 12, 19–23; common, 24–33; hereditary, 57; more serious, 27–36; questions for health care professionals, 37; symptoms of, 24–26
  • eye drops, 3, 23
  • eye exams, 20, 32
  • falls, 23, 121, 122, 186
  • family dynamics, 9–10, 60; adjusting to vision loss, 65–66; aging and, 46–48; communication and, 66–74; emotional reactions and, 45–46, 58
  • family members: adaptive techniques for, 61–63; emotional reactions of, 51, 54–61; helping from a distance, 16, 17; learning about vision loss, 158–159; leisure activities and, 168; self-care, 53, 56–57; support for, 90–91, 163–165, 182; support from, 52–53, 96; vision rehabilitation services and, 79–81
  • fear and sadness, 51, 57, 68
  • fear of failure, vision rehabilitation services and, 9
  • filing systems, 134, 141–142
  • finances, adaptive techniques for, 106–108, 134, 189
  • financial security, aging and, 47
  • finding lost items, 62, 131. See also organizing, as adaptive technique
  • fire alarms, 148
  • fire extinguishers, 139, 141
  • floaters, 23, 24
  • floors, safety and, 129, 143
  • font sizes and styles, 171, 172
  • food, 97, 134, 170. See also eating and drinking
  • food stamps, 16
  • friendships, 48–49, 154–159
  • furniture: arranging, 122, 134; contrast and color and, 130–131; as landmarks, 62, 113, 150; safety and, 140, 191
  • games, 167, 176–177, 184
  • gardening, 167, 177
  • genetic counselors, 57
  • geriatric care managers, 16, 17
  • getting help, 14–16
  • glare: adaptive techniques for, 124, 128–129, 191; avoiding, 158; gardening and, 177; mobility and, 151, 152; print readability and, 172; safety and, 140; sensitivity to, 22, 24, 33; sunglasses and, 20; television and, 185
  • glaucoma, 3, 26, 29–30, 31, 40, 43
  • golf, 2, 92
  • grief, stages of, 50–51
  • grocery shopping, 160
  • guide dogs. See dog guides
  • guilt, 58
  • Hadley School for the Blind, 95, 177
  • hair care, 111
  • hallucinations, visual, 35
  • halogen lights, 126
  • halos, around lights, 11, 24, 30
  • handwriting aids, 85
  • headaches, 30
  • health, overall, 20, 47, 50, 64, 144–153, 190
  • health care professionals: communication with, 36–38, 57, 68, 167; evaluating qualifications of, 17; exercise and, 178–179; family members and, 61; low vision services and, 12–13; types of, 25; visits to, 20, 24
  • health insurance, 16
  • hearing aids, 74, 146, 147, 148
  • hearing loss, 47, 50, 74–75, 145, 146–149
  • heart conditions, 145
  • help: asking for, 161, 163; from a distance, 16–17; finding, 14–16; from your older relative, 71, 78–79, 159
  • hemianopia, 33, 34
  • Hi-Marks tactile markers, 98, 99, 112, 132
  • home and environment, adapting, 8, 14, 80, 120–137, 191; for cognitive disabilities, 150; for hearing loss, 148; home survey checklist, 138–143, 186, 187; orientation to the environment and, 113; reduced contrast sensitivity and, 22
  • home health care, 8–9
  • home survey checklist, 138–143, 186, 187
  • human guides. See sighted guides
  • independence: driving and, 116; emotional reactions, to loss of, 47–48; family dynamics and, 60; help, from your older relative and, 78–79; leisure activities and, 168; maintaining, 8–9; maintaining friendships and, 156–157, 159; other health concerns and, 153; respecting desire for, 9, 63, 74, 75–78, 96. See also home and environment, adapting
  • independent living services, 15
  • independent living skills instruction. See vision rehabilitation services
  • interdependence, 78–79
  • Internet, the. See Web sites
  • isolation, 48–49
  • keys and small items, organizing, 134
  • kitchens. See cooking; home and environment, adapting
  • labeling, as adaptive technique, 96, 97, 124, 131–132; appliances and, 99–100, 112, 141, 187; clothing and, 133; safety and, 123
  • landmarks, 62, 111, 113, 134, 150
  • large-print books and magazines, 170, 184
  • large-print devices, 117–118, 134–135, 188; finances and, 189; for telling time, 190
  • Latino Americans, 30, 31
  • laundry, adaptive techniques for, 111–112, 143
  • legal blindness, 26
  • leisure activities, 166–179, 181, 184–185
  • lens, of the eye, 21
  • libraries, 170. See also Talking Books
  • light, increased need for, 21, 35
  • light and dark, difficulty adapting to, 21
  • light bulbs, 21, 125–126
  • light flashes, 11, 23, 24
  • Lighthouse International organization, 41, 90
  • lighting: adapting the home and environment, 100, 122, 123, 124–127, 191; reading and, 184; safety and, 140, 142
  • liquid level indicators, 85, 101, 103, 137, 141, 188
  • Liquid Stitch, 175–176
  • local services, 15, 16
  • loneliness, 155
  • long-distance care, 16–17
  • low vision, 26
  • low vision clinics, 15
  • low vision specialists, 12–13. See also vision rehabilitation services
  • low vision therapists, 86. See also vision rehabilitation services
  • macular degeneration, 1, 2, 12, 26, 27–29; nutrition and, 20; print readability and, 172; vision simulators, 40, 42
  • magazines, large-print versions, 170
  • magnification aids: computers and, 104–105; for reading, 157, 170, 183–184; for television, 175, 185; vision rehabilitation services and, 85, 86
  • makeup, 111
  • Making Life More Livable (AFB Press), 95, 184, 187, 190
  • Meals on Wheels, 15
  • Medicaid, 16, 17
  • Medicare, 47, 88
  • medications, 37, 54, 85, 135, 143, 190
  • mental illness, 35
  • mobility: adaptive techniques for, 79, 112–117, 122; Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS) and, 35–36; glaucoma and, 29; landmarks and, 62, 113, 134, 150; orthopedic problems and, 151–153; sense of sound and, 136; sighted guides, 62, 63, 87, 114–115, 151, 159, 186; symptoms of vision loss and, 11, 24; vision rehabilitation services and, 85. See also orientation and mobility specialists
  • money, identifying, 107–108, 189
  • movies, 175
  • moving objects, 62
  • museums, 178
  • music, 174
  • National Association of Geriatric Care Managers, 17
  • National Eye Institute (NEI), 36, 41
  • National Federation of the Blind, 90, 174
  • National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, 168, 169, 174, 184
  • Native Americans, diabetic retinopathy and, 31
  • natural light, 125
  • nausea, glaucoma and, 30
  • needlework and sewing, 167, 175–176
  • newspapers, 174
  • NFB-NEWSLINE service, 174
  • night lights, 127
  • night vision, 35
  • nonverbal communication, 62, 147
  • nutrition, 20
  • occupational therapists, 88
  • open angle glaucoma, 30
  • ophthalmologists, 2, 12–13, 83
  • optical character recognition (OCR) devices, 106
  • optical devices, 117
  • optometrists, 12, 13
  • organizing, as adaptive technique: cooking and, 99; in the home, 96, 97, 124, 132–135, 191; locating small items and, 140
  • orientation and mobility specialists, 2, 15, 40, 84, 86–88, 116, 185–186
  • orientation to the environment, 113
  • orthopedic problems, 151–153
  • pain, in the eye, 24
  • paper, for people with low vision, 22, 98, 103, 104, 142, 172
  • passive communication, 72–73
  • patterns, 130–131, 150
  • peripheral vision, 27, 29, 30
  • personal care and hygiene, adaptive techniques for, 110–111, 190
  • personal readers, 106
  • pessimism, 54
  • pitch, of voices, 147
  • presbyopia, 19–20
  • print readability, 63, 171–172. See also reading
  • prism lenses, 34
  • professional help. See health care professionals; services
  • proliferative retinopathy, 32
  • protective eye gear, 20
  • protective techniques. See safety
  • public, going out in, 156–157
  • public transportation, 2, 87, 116
  • questions for health care professionals, 37–38
  • radio reading services, 174
  • reactions to vision loss, 46–51, 53–61
  • reading: adaptive techniques for, 106, 168–174, 183–184; enjoyment of, 2, 166; handwriting and, 59, 63; hemianopia and, 34; magnification aids and, 85; print readability, 63, 171–172; symptoms of vision loss and, 25; Talking Books and, 52
  • recreation, 2. See also leisure activities
  • reduced visual acuity, 20–21
  • referrals, for low vision services, 13, 16, 17, 38
  • rehabilitation teachers. See vision rehabilitation therapists
  • religious organizations, 17, 54, 162–163
  • remote controls, 98, 132, 134, 140, 175, 185
  • restaurants, 157–158, 170, 172
  • routines, cognitive disabilities and, 149
  • safety, 122–123; concerns about, 60; cooking and, 100, 101; eye protection, 20; home survey checklist, 138–143; personal care and hygiene, 111; trailing and protective techniques, 113–114. See also home and environment, adapting
  • screen reader software, 105
  • Secondary Audio Program (SAP), 175
  • self-care, for family members, 10–11, 56–57, 164, 165
  • self-confidence, 48, 52, 76, 161
  • senior centers, 15, 17, 116–117, 160
  • sensitivity to light or glare, 24, 33
  • service organizations, 17
  • services, locating, 14–16, 16–17, 56–57, 83. See also support groups; vision rehabilitation services
  • shadows, 125, 127
  • Sharing Solutions newsletter, 90
  • shaving, 111
  • siblings, communication and, 67–68
  • side effects, 37, 38
  • sighted guides, 62, 87, 114–115, 151, 159, 186
  • signature guides, 103
  • signs of vision loss, 19–26. See also symptoms
  • skills, for daily activities. See activities, everyday
  • smell, sense of, 136
  • smoke alarms, 123, 141
  • smoking, 20
  • social and cultural activities, 163, 164, 167, 178
  • Social Security Administration, 16
  • social workers, 16, 89
  • software, for low vision, 105–106
  • Solutions for Everyday Living for Older People with Visual Impairments (video; AFB Press), 96
  • Solutions for Success (AFB Press), 95
  • sound, sense of, 136. See also hearing loss
  • sports, participating in, 2, 92, 167, 168
  • spouse, loss of, 46, 47
  • squinting, 25
  • stairs: Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS) and, 35–36; difficulties with, 23, 24; safety on, 122, 127, 131, 139
  • state rehabilitation agencies, 14–15
  • stereotypes, about vision loss, 49–50, 64
  • stoves. See appliances; cooking
  • strokes, visual complications of, 33, 34
  • success stories, 91–92, 181
  • sunglasses, 20, 129
  • sunlight, 125
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI), 16
  • support canes, 151–152
  • support groups: for family members, 57, 74, 90–91, 164–165; for the visually impaired, 2, 10, 80–81, 89–90, 191
  • supportiveness, communication and, 70–71
  • support networks, informal: for family members, 163–165; maintaining independence and, 77; for the visually impaired, 73, 154–165, 182
  • surgery, for cataracts, 3, 32
  • symptoms: of cataracts, 32, 33; of depression, 53–54; of diabetic retinopathy, 32; of eye conditions, 24–26; of glaucoma, 29, 30; of hemianopia, 34, 35; of macular degeneration, 1, 27, 28; of normal aging, 12, 19–24; of vision loss, 7–8, 11, 18–19
  • tactile markers and devices, 96, 97–98, 111, 112, 132, 177
  • Talking Books, 2, 52, 149, 168–170, 173, 184
  • talking devices, 118, 136; clocks and watches, 109–110; computers and, 105; electronic publishing and, 173; finances and, 107; labeling and, 132; medications and, 135, 190
  • telephones, 108–109, 142, 188
  • television, 167, 175, 185; glare and, 128
  • telling time, 109–110, 189–190
  • tests, medical, 37–38
  • texture and touch, as adaptive technique, 124, 135–136, 176
  • theaters, 178
  • thermostats, 141
  • touch, sense of. See texture and touch, as adaptive technique
  • trailing and protective techniques, 113–114, 123
  • transportation, 15, 87, 116–117, 155–156, 159–160, 162–163. See also mobility
  • 20/20 marking pen, 99
  • 20/20 vision, 20–21, 26
  • understanding vision loss: communication and, 67–68; vision rehabilitation services and, 80; from your relative's perspective, 58–59, 73
  • United States Blind Golf Association, 2
  • Veterans Affairs, Department of, 15
  • video description, 175, 185. See also audio description
  • vision loss: learning about, 11–14, 164; signs of, 19–26; simulating, 39–44; treatment for, 3
  • vision rehabilitation services, 84–89, 92–93; adaptive techniques and, 8, 95, 148, 168–169, 170; emotional reactions and, 9, 54, 191; everyday activities and, 60, 190; family members and, 79–81, 90–91; locating, 13–14, 14–15, 38, 83; macular degeneration and, 28–29; maintaining independence and, 77–78; openess to, 10; other health concerns and, 153; success stories, 91–92; vision simulators and, 40
  • vision rehabilitation therapists, 2, 85–86, 92. See also vision rehabilitation services
  • vision simulators, 39–44
  • VISIONS Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired, 95
  • vision therapy, 84
  • visual acuity, 26, 33; reduced, 20–21
  • visual field loss, 26–27, 34, 35
  • vocational services, 15, 84, 88–89, 92, 192
  • voice memo recorders, 142
  • volunteering, 167, 168
  • walkers, 151
  • walking. See mobility; sighted guides
  • Web sites, 14, 36, 40, 56, 105, 169
  • wet type macular degeneration, 27–28
  • wheelchairs, 153
  • writing, 103–104, 132, 142, 188

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