Support Systems for You and Your Older Relative
It is essential that your friend or relative recognize that it is possible to regain independence and self-confidence. Help is available through vision rehabilitation programs that provide the opportunity to:
- Adjust to vision loss
- Learn adaptive techniques for handling routine tasks
- Improve independent living skills and quality of life
- Learn to get around the environment
There are rehabilitation programs in each state. For information about how to find them, contact the AFB's information center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-232-5463, or consult AFB's Directory of Services on this web site.
Community Support Systems
Organizations in the community can provide practical support for an older person experiencing vision loss, such as homemaker services and transportation. Every community in the United States offers a variety of services for people age 60 and older through funding from the federal Older Americans Act. You can locate the services in your community by contacting the local office on aging or calling the Eldercare Locator at 800-677-1116.
Other Support Systems
In addition to family members, friends are an important source of support. However, many older persons find their social network shrinking. Peer groups in senior centers, religious organizations, alumni associations and the like can compensate for that and often offer emotional support as well as social and intellectual stimulation.
When Your Older Relative or Friend Needs to be Convinced
Not all people with age-related vision problems believe they can benefit from vision rehabilitation. If your family member is dubious about having the ability to learn alternative skills and techniques, introducing a peer who has accomplished those goals may be the most effective support. In addition to serving as a role model, that person may even trigger a competitive urge to achieve the same level of success.