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High-tech answers to Low vision



According to statistics from the National Eye Institute, the estimated number of people affected by the most common eye diseases will double by 2050. The main causes of vision loss are cataracts, age-related macular degeneration (at the age of 80 an American in 10 will have AMD at a late stage), diabetic retinopathy (about 27 percent of people with diabetes don't know they have it have), and glaucoma. Basically, if you are over 60, you have your eyes checked every year.

Technology goes further

Fortunately, seniors with visual disabilities have more and more tools to help them stay independent – so much fact that some seniors with vision loss can benefit from receiving services from a Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist). CVRT & # 39; s instruct in the use of adaptive equipment, technology and technology to help visually impaired seniors stay safe and independent in their homes.

Tools

Some of the leading assistant devices include:

Voice Labeling Systems: Electronic audio labeling systems allow the user to label items (food, household items, files) . The device is used to record information on small self-adhesive labels in the voice of the user. (Magnetic labels and waterproof labels are also available.) Devices usually have 1

00 hours of recording time and some have MP3. Devices have internal memory and information can be stored on the computer.

Digital voice recorders: When keeping written notes and reminders becomes difficult, using a digital voice recorder is a convenient way to keep track of information. Various digital recorders can be operated with only buttons and auditory instructions.

iBill: T The iBill device is a useful electronic tool that discreetly reads different invoice names aloud. Small and easy to use, this battery-powered device is equipped with an earphone port for privacy.

Talking Devices: Many daily tasks are made easier with speaking devices. A talking clock or wrist watch allows users to tell time independently. With talking scales and fever thermometers, people can manage their own healthcare tasks without assistance. Liquid level indicators and talk timers help manage meal preparation tasks. The list of talking devices continues to grow as technology continues to grow.

New technologies

Electronic magnification: The use of technology has improved how visually impaired elderly people benefit from magnification. Electronic magnification can be desktop (CCTV) or handheld. The user can adjust the magnification size, font, and contrast. Many electronic magnifiers have the function read aloud.

Smartphone technology: Smartphone / tablet technology continues to expand and offers visually impaired users numerous options for communication, identification and secure mobility. Users benefit from instructions for understanding and using accessibility functions built into their device (magnification, voice support, color / contrast / size). With this help, users can manage calendars, take notes and reminders, and use the voice recorder on their smartphones. The list of smartphone apps that benefit the elderly with visual impairments is constantly being expanded. Identification apps use device camera to read text, documents, colors, currencies and bar codes.

Bio: Lisa Sluszka is a Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapists (CVRT) and a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) at VISIONS Services for the blind and visually impaired. VISIONS / Services for the blind and visually impaired gives instruction to people of all ages who are blind to leading an independent and active life in their homes and communities. VISIONS is a non-profit agency in New York; read more about their services for the elderly here. Persons older than 55 can contact VISIONS directly at 212-625-1616 for information.

Note: Lisa Sluszka will give a presentation on equipment and technology used in the rehabilitation instruction at Senior Planet NYC (127 W. 25th Street) on Wednesday, July 31 from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM. RSVP is required. Email rsvp@seniorplanet.org or call 646-590-0615.

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