One of our members is a young lady who lives in Derbyshire. She has sight loss linked to diabetic retinopathy.
Our member was referred to the Low Vision Scheme by her family, who contacted us directly after reading a Sight Support Derbyshire leaflet in the hospital eye clinic.
Helen Roe – a Low Vision Assessor employed by Sight Support Derbyshire, visited our member at home to discuss her sight loss and the challenges it is creating which include:
- Checking her blood sugar levels several times during the day, but she has problems seeing the blood once she has pricked her finger. She sits at the table to do this, but the table isn’t located in a particularly well lit part of her home.
- She likes to use her own oven and microwave, but struggles to see the time /heat settings
- She has differing light conditions throughout her home, and can find this problematic
- She sometimes finds it difficult to see the picture on her TV despite sitting quite close to the screen
- Bright light and glare is often a problem for her. She has prescription sunspecs which she wears outside, but the light in her home can be too intense at certain times of the day. Wearing sunspecs indoors reduces her visual acuity further, and is therefore not a sensible option
After Helens initial visit Helen reviewed how Sight Support could help our member and Helen returned with the following
- An illuminated 2.5x hand magnifier was provided and fitted to a double – ended clamp which, in turn, was fitted to the table. As she doesn’t need to hold the magnifier, both hands are free to prick her finger and the light / magnification makes it much easier for her to use the blood sugar monitor and maintain a check on her sugar levels.
- The illuminated hand magnifier uses for seeing the blood on her finger more easily can be detached from the double ended clamp and used to light and magnify the dials on her cooker and microwave, making them easier to use.
- The provision of a portable task light which can be easily moved from room to room offers her a more even source of light throughout the house
- The TV magnifying spectacles provided through the Low Vision scheme make the picture clearer and she enjoys seeing a clearer picture on the TV screen
- Yellow UV shields that can be worn over her own prescription spectacles help with indoor glare. They enhance contrast in addition to reducing glare, and therefore improve rather than reduce acuity inside the house
Other issues raised by the LVA assessment
- Through Helens help our member can now listen to local radio without struggling to use her old player, she has also joined the library and borrows talking books and magazines which has given her a new and enjoyable hobby
- There had been little support through Social Services over the years, and both she and her family have lost touch with services that could be helpful to them. They have been invited to a V.I.P Information Day, funded by Derbyshire County Council and operated by Sight Support Derbyshire to provide them with information about services which might prove beneficial to them both.
- Having previously scalded herself by over-filling her tea cup she has now been e supplied with an audible Liquid Level Indicator. With instruction given regarding how to safely use the item, our member now makes tea and coffee knowing she will not overfill the cup