In an earlier blog I described low vision caused by macular degeneration and how Low Vision Therapy by Cooperative Home Care addresses your aging parent’s macular degeneration. It’s a big topic! So I’ll review some basics first:
Low vision is a topic that may be unfamiliar to someone who doesn’t work in health care, but it affects 25% of all people over 75 years old. So it’s likely that someone you know, is suffering from low vision. It can be a devastating diagnosis that affects an individual’s daily independence as well as their recovery from a new injury or illness.
There are two very important things to remember about Low Vision Therapy. The first is that Low Vision Therapy through home health care is 100% funded by Medicare for those who qualify. Like all Medicare home health care services, it is conveniently provided within each client’s home. The second point is that Low Vision Therapy by Cooperative Home Care is very unique. Low Vision Therapy by Cooperative Home Care builds on the basic approach of low vision treatment by adding vision retraining, in which clients learn how to use their remaining vision more effectively.
So, what is low vision? Low vision refers to vision problems that cannot be corrected with regular glasses, contact lenses, medicine or surgery. People with low vision find everyday tasks difficult to do. Reading, writing, cooking, watching television, working on the computer and taking the right medications are examples of household activities that may be affected. Getting around in the community is also going to be more difficult, or impossible, without help.
It’s easy to understand how an otherwise healthy and independent person can experience a decrease in their quality of life from low vision. In addition to a loss of independence, vision impairment is linked to hip fractures among older adults and people with low vision are more likely to sustain injuries from falls, burns, etc., without the assistance of low vision rehabilitation.
Most low vision is caused by the following diseases: macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, stroke, or brain injury. The top two causes of low vision are macular degeneration and glaucoma. Here, we’ll focus on glaucoma.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of low vision. Opposite of age related macular degeneration, people with glaucoma experience vision loss that begins in the peripheral visual fields. Their central vision remains, which is also called tunnel vision.
Low Vision Therapy by Cooperative Home Care works in two ways: through vision retraining and rehabilitation. It is delivered in each client’s home by a licensed and specially trained occupational therapist. The therapists work with clients to use their remaining vision more effectively, to function more safely and independently, and to use appropriate assistive devices more efficiently. Low Vision Therapy can be life changing for our clients, and is paid 100% by Medicare for those who qualify. If you do not have traditional Medicare we are glad to check with your specific insurance plan to see if you qualify for this service. Here’s how to get started: call 1-800-HOMECARE (in MO) and our Intake Nurse will answer all of your preliminary questions, ensure you are eligible, and help get your doctor’s order to start your services.