Home Medical Conditions Independent Living Aids : Senior With Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Independent Living Aids : Senior With Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Senior Man Uses Touch Screen

Independent living aids are available for the vision impaired senior. Meet Dorothy Gambrel.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

Internet skills support independent living for vision impaired seniors

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss… in Americans over 60 years old. A diagnosis can quickly diminish a senior’s self-esteem and security… if he or she can’t find a way to return to a comfortable level of independent living.

Seniors living with AMD describe it as having a dark or blurred spot in the center of their vision. The spot may get bigger over time limiting senior activities. This disease threatens independent living. It destroys central vision which is needed to see well enough to drive and read.

Simple daily tasks can become very frustrating for the vision impaired. For Dorothy Gambrel, 68, relearning basic skills became a new challenge.

“I could no longer see well enough to squeeze toothpaste on my toothbrush. I finally learned to put the toothpaste on my finger first, and then apply it the brush,” said Gambrel.

Learning the ropesSenior Man Uses Touch Screen

Gambrel admits she knew very little about how to cope with AMD when she was first diagnosed. At age 60, she has learned the ropes to independent living along the way. She investigated independent living aids for the vision impaired.

One of her most recent adventures is learning about advanced technology services… that offer options for seniors with AMD. This knowledge led to receiving a free home computer, and she is now learning to use the Internet.

She is not alone. According to the Nielsen Wire (December 10, 2009), from 2004 to 2009… senior activities on the Internet increased 55 percent. Seniors are not just the fastest growing age group of Internet users… they are also the age group that can benefit the most.

From the comfort of their homes,… seniors are staying in touch with friends and family… through e-mail and social networking sites like Facebook. They go online to check the weather, view and pay bills, read the news and plan leisure trips. They also use the Internet to find the best prices on items and print coupons, as well as find recipes.

Most seniors tend to take healthcare advice from a healthcare provider… family member or friend. More and more they are using the web to gather additional information… about important health issues.

Brain fitness is an important factor

A 2009 UCLA study suggested the very act of surfing the web prevents brain atrophy in older adults. According to this research, searching online exercises the brain and enhances cognition. The benefits of surfing the web may stimulate and improve brain function… in seniors after just one week.

Many vision-impaired seniors do not know that advanced technology offers a way to… magnify text and images on a computer screen, as well as read text to them. Large-print keyboards are also available. These make keycaps easy to see with less eyestrain and fatigue.

To learn more about how Gambrel tapped into advanced technology services… and overcame the obstacle of using the web with low vision.. read “Vision Impaired Senior Uses Computer to Enhance Independent Living.”