Archive for November, 2014

Aging Gracefully and Living Independently

Posted on: November 21st, 2014 by lowvision

Living out your golden years can be blissful and fulfilling, yet many aging adults also face the issue of declining mobility as their bodies and vision weren’t what they once were.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 24,000 people over the age of 65 died after a fall in 2012, making it a serious public health issue. With 10,000 boomers turning 65 each day, the issue of mobility in aging adults will continue to be a priority as our country ages.

When thinking about balance, it is a combination of vision, muscle, perception of space, and concentration. Unfortunately, this involves vision, muscle strength, proprioception (the body’s ability to know where it is in space), and attention. As people age, those elements deteriorate.

However, tech developers, builders, and other professionals are realizing the potential to help this population live independently by utilizing technology and installing furnishings which help those with limited vision or mobility to prevent falls.

Apps for Independence 
In a recent TIME feature on “Senior for Startups,”  the piece highlighted a new app called Lively, which helps loved ones respect an aging family member’s independence while being able to monitor on their wellbeing from afar through sensors on pillboxes and the refrigerator.


Many retirement homes are turning to their cleaning staff to ensure that rooms are not only clean, but are trained to inspect for tripping hazards that can be present when a person has low vision, such as a crumpled rug or a piece of furniture that is in the walking path of an individual.

Refurbishing a Residence
Some builders are putting themselves into the shoes of the people whose homes they’re constructing. When building for aging adults, it’s important to consider things like hues of trim and what type of floor to install. Older adults can perceive these environmental factors differently and foster conditions ripe for falls.

For instance, black toilet seats may not be aesthetically appealing but the contrast for someone with low vision can help prevent a fall.

While many may be worried how exercise could lead to a fall, it actually is one of the best remedies to keep bodies strong in your 60s and beyond. Keeping strong and maintaining muscle mass is important to preserve balance and reduce falls.

Low Vision News Recap – October 2014

Posted on: November 6th, 2014 by lowvision

Below is a compilation of news you can use relating to low vision and eye health in the month of October.

Disease Severity in One Eye May Predict Progression in the Other
US News and World Report
A new study finds the severity of age-related macular degeneration in one eye is associated with the risk of developing the disease and its progression in the other eye.

No ‘pity party’ for volunteer on a mission to help others with reduced vision
Orange County Register
Wayne Heidle doesn’t let retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision loss akin to looking through a pinhole and often leads to total blindness, get in the way of his efforts to improve the lives of others as a volunteer at the Low Vision Center at Fullerton’s Marshall B. Ketchum University.

‘Wandering eye’ may raise risk of falls for older adults
Fox News
Older people with strabismus, where one eye points slightly inward or outward affecting vision, are about 27 percent more likely than people without the condition to be injured by a fall, according to a new study.

Bono: ‘I have glaucoma’
There’s a reason for Bono’s ever-present orange-tinted sunglasses, and it’s not rock-star affectation. The singer announced he has suffered with glaucoma for the past two decades and wears shades to protect his eyes.

Technology allows Missoula man with visual impairment to enter workforce
The Missoulian
It’s extremely difficult for people with severe visual impairments to find good jobs, especially customer service-oriented jobs in fast-paced restaurants. But with modern technology, the hard work of state agencies and local nonprofits and a willingness on the part of employers, people like Robert Wilkins can thrive. They gain self-confidence and become more financially independent.