Most older people with vision impairment or blindness are not aware that they can access services or devices that can make daily tasks more straightforward, and in some cases simply safer. Medications – something often prescribed for low vision, vision impairment, or other vision conditions – are one of these areas where a little assistance can go a long way toward providing privacy and independence.
Communicating drug information is a necessity. Blindness and vision impairment increases in adults, especially after age 75 (Prevent Blindness America, 2002). “People age 80 years and older currently make up 8% of the population but account for 69% of blindness (Eye Diseases Prevalence Research Group, 2004).” Safety and nonadherence issues arise for these consumers. The lack of a national standard for labeling for this consumer base compromises their ability to read labels and information sheets, as well as determine color, shape, markings, and measuring devices and the number of refills left on a prescription. This problem is recognized by the US Veterans Affairs Office, which mandates that Audible Prescription Reading Devices are required to be provided for veterans needing this assistance. We could not locate in an online search a local or regional pharmacy that advertises this type of service and the related devices.
Useful sites for those wishing to pursue improved services for loved ones or other individuals in their care:
ASI’s website provides a wide variety of resources on aging, active engagement, provider and caregiver education, and information about ASI programs in Archuleta County, as well as contact information for making reservations at The Community Café for take-out and for Meals on Wheels.
Removing Common Activity Barriers
Famously, Jane Brody provides some pithy advice that we all understand but find it hard to put into practice, “The secret to successful aging is to recognize one’s issues and adapt accordingly.” Physical activity is well-known for improving our quality of life on so many levels. So let’s consider what stops us from getting the level of activity that will help keep us physically fit and mentally sharp.
A new paper from Mather Institute gives some insight into why the “majority of older adults—many of whom understand the importance of physical activity for their ongoing health and independence—do not participate in regular activity.” A few items from the report might help to spark ideas for your setting.
Whatever activity you choose, it needs to be interesting and fun for the participants. As we work toward getting our own in-person health and education programs back open, you can find low-impact, online options for in-home exercise on our website through our alliance with Mather.
Our site also provides a wide variety of resources on aging, active engagement, provider and caregiver education, and information about ASI programs in Archuleta County, as well as contact information for making reservations at The Community Café for take-out and for Meals on Wheels.
Vision, hearing, and health
Vision and hearing loss affect our brains. When these changes go untreated, it becomes harder for us to comprehend what our eyes are seeing and our ears are hearing. This impact takes an unfortunate toll on cognitive function and our emotional and physical well-being. The loss does not have to be profound to make a significant impact.
The additional work the brain has to do to process information in a new way is taking a real toll:
Conversely, correcting or supporting vision and hearing loss is good for our brains and by extension our long term well-being. Moderators are new cues that we can use in our daily environment to improve how we live our lives and better manage with our changing eyes and ears. Steps you can take include simple solutions, such as:
Think bigger as well – when someone falls due to poor vision and has a major health impact, the medical and social costs to that individual and their family far outstrip the effort needed to make smaller accommodations before an accident occurs.
Our website provides a wide variety of resources on aging, active engagement, provider and caregiver education, and information about ASI programs in Archuleta County, as well as contact information for making reservations at The Community Café for take-out and for Meals on Wheels.