The Florence Maxwell Low Vision Clinic is excited to share that we have added 2 new low vision occupational therapists to our staff. This addition to our staff now allows the low vision clinic to provide services within the home. An individual must initially be seen in the low vision clinic, either in Atlanta or Gainesville, by the low vision optometrist. Following the on-site appointment, the occupational therapist can come to your home and mark your appliances, address lighting, safety concerns and your challenges with all aspects of daily living. Difficulties such as using your phone, light cooking, managing your medication or writing a check. Working within the home ensures that you will not only be able to learn new skills, but also affirm that you can use any optical aids or devices independently within your own environment. Success, independence and empowerment are the goals and the best place to achieve that is within your own home.
It is also important to remember, as an adult, you are your own best advocate. If you’re struggling with problems at home or in the community, related to your vision loss, talk with your eye doctor regarding your concerns. Be as specific as possible. Try to stay away from statements such as, “I can’t see” or “I am going blind”. Often these statements will be disregarded. However use statements such as, “I can’t read my bills or write a check” or “my television is blurry and I can’t see my family member’s faces”. These specific examples allow for better insight. If your doctor does not recommend low vision services, take the first step, tell your doctor you are interested in low vision services and ask for a referral.
Low vision services provide you the opportunity for increased independence in the areas that you are having specific challenges. Although your doctor may tell you there is nothing that can be done, they are more specifically referring to their services. However, there is much that can be done at CVI to promote education and independence through training on devices and compensatory/adaptive strategies which you can learn safely in your home environment.
May is Senior/Older American Awareness Month. It is important as a senior to remember aging does not have to mean a decrease in independence or inactive lifestyle. Low vision creates challenges that were not present previously however just like other obstacles there are ways to learn to maintain the lifestyle you seek. So, are you a senior having challenges with your vision? Is reading the newspaper or your medication bottles difficult? Are you having problems operating home appliances, cooking or preforming other household duties because of vision? Do you want to maintain an independent life in your home? If so, please call CVI’s Florence Maxwell Low Vision Clinic and schedule an appointment. For more information call 404-875-9011 or log on at www.cviga.org.