Brenda’s daughter, Jolinda, constantly worried about her mother every time she would come to visit. Jolinda has always known her mother to be very self-sufficient in her everyday activities. When Jolinda would visit, she noticed her mom mixing up medications pills, not properly adjusting the thermostat, and had difficulty reading price tags while shopping – an activity she loved. Jolinda felt that her mother was slowly losing her independence.
With great strength, Brenda finally was able to open up to her daughter that her vision was declining with tears streaming from her face. Brenda expressed the she has a difficult time carrying on daily tasks and doing the things she really loved. Jolinda was heartbroken and had no idea this could be the cause. It was in that moment that Brenda knew she had to seek help with her low vision. Even though Brenda was living in a blurry world, she made up her mind that she wasn’t going to give up the things she loved the most and more importantly she was going to keep her independence.
The MEDARVA Low Vision Center was able to help Brenda. The Center's Occupational Therapist trained Brenda on an optical magnifying tool device. After her visit, Brenda not only went home and organized her medications, but for the first time in years sat down to read one of her favorite books.
“I thought I would only read a chapter or two, but after seeing how easy it was, I stayed up and read the entire book that night,” Brenda said. “These tools have definitely changed my life, brought joy back to living and helped me gain my independence back.”
Brenda is even more hopeful to know that losing her vision does not mean giving up her activities, but finding new ways to do them with even more confidence and independence.
Sometimes, the patient like in Brenda’s case does not recognize functional vision complaints. She did not realize she had altered her life to avoid reading for long periods of time, not doing activities she loved like shopping, and occasionally mixing up her medications.
The most important thing to remember is a diagnosis of low vision is not the end of independence. There are numerous tools, tricks, and lifestyle changes that will keep each patient doing what they love.