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Welcome to CareNotes. In this special section we will feature a reader's letter and provide an opportunity for an interactive exchange that will help find some answers and possible solutions to concerns. If you wish to respond to this letter, simple follow the link provided at the end of the letter and add your comments and thoughts to our CareNotes Board.

This Week's Carenote - 05/22/12

I am a caregiver for my mom who is 88. She has macular degeneration (dry kind) and is not able to read most things. I read to her and when I can, I print articles and emails in large font. She can still feed and dress herself, but I want to be prepare for the next stages as her sight gets worse.  I would appreciate any suggestions from anyone who has gone through the same situation.

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Name: Charlotte
Location: Texas
Date: 08/26/2012
Time: 12:39 PM


I don't mean to interfere on someone else's letter but I do not know how to write/add my own note. I have been the caregiver for my husband while he has been in and out of rehab/snf and hospitals. This site was recommended by a friend. Can anyone help?

Name: peggy
Location: Iowa
Date: 06/14/2012
Time: 06:48 AM


My grandma had the dry kind of macular degeneration also. She lived to be 96. She was a very independent and determined woman as she lived in her own apartment until she passed on. She found a source for blind people where they sent her books on tape for free. She listened to her favorite tv programs daily. She walked everywhere with a 'blind cane' using her peripheral vision to judge where she was and the traffic direction at corners. It helped that she lived in that apartment for over 15 yrs and in the downtown district where she was 2 blocks from her pharmacy and 5 blocks from her favorite grocery store. She had a phone with super-large numbers on it. Anyway, she made it as she learned to cope with the progressiveness, but I really think it was her stubborn spirit that kept her going. Many young men would try to help her and she always told them 'as long as I can do it myself, I will!'

Name: tj
Location: wv
Date: 05/24/2012
Time: 05:34 AM

Comments has some great tips on helping those with vision loss or poor vision help themselves. It's a great source for info, you can also email them if you want information on something you are unable to find on the website. Also check with your local area agency on aging for resource information. good luck.

Date: 05/23/2012
Time: 09:04 AM


My mother had macular degenration. Her Dr., I think, told her about the local Council for the Blind, and the state she was in (missouri) had a program for the blind. She received, at no cost, a talking watch, special lamp, large, lined paper and markers, I can't remember what all. Also, through the state, she got talking books and a the machine to play them on. She also purchased, second hand, a projecting reader that she used to read magazines, letters, bills, etc. It was expensive, even used, but she used it all the time. Eventually, even with the reader, she couldn't make out numbers, so I had to take over her finances, but she could still read letters, etc. The last year or so (she passed away at 97), she had and aid come in to help her dress and fix breakfast, as she couldn't see buttons and buttonholes or what she was getting out of the fridge for breakfast. All of the children lived in other states, and she was in an independent living apartments so she had dinner provided, and transportation to stores. Hopes this helps. Also, contact your Area Agency on Aging for what services you can get in your area.

Name: Judy
Location: Boca Raton, Fl
Date: 05/22/2012
Time: 02:40 PM


Please contact your local division of Blind services because they will be your best support. They can inform you about all kinds of adaptive equipment and services that are available for people with low vision. When I lived in San Diego it was the Braille institute. In this area it is lighthouse for the blind. They have all kinds of equipment that might help her.

Date: 05/22/2012
Time: 08:03 AM


At 91, my Mom only has vision in one eye and has glaucoma and macular degeneration in the eye in which she still has vision. To help her in reading, I keep magnifying glasses at various locations around the house and also try to get books and magazines in large print. Also, although Mom struggles a bit with learning the technology, she is able to use the computer to exchange email with friends and family. To make the text of the emails easy for her to read, I used a standard HDMI cable to connect her PC to a 42 inch flat screen TV, which gives her a huge display that she can easily read.



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