February is National AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month. Age-related macular degeneration, AMD, is the is the leading cause of vision loss among older adults. AMD is an age-related condition that affects central vision. Early signs of AMD are the appearance of shadowy distortions in the middle of a person’s vision. As the disease progresses those distortions become dark spots that create voids.
Strike a chord with geriatric care providers this February by explaining how home health improves outcomes for visually impaired seniors. For instance, many home health agencies use low-vision therapists to help AMD patients cope with not being able to see what is directly in front of them. They teach patients to boost their remaining vision by using support tools and developing their peripheral vision.
Promote the benefits of In-home evaluation. Home health therapists evaluate patients’ homes for safety hazards, improper lighting, and the need for sight assistance devices. The proper environmental modifications can help AMD patients maintain their independence longer.
Low vision tools for AMD patient:
Specialized eyeglass prescription with very high magnification and prisms. Often with yellow tint to increase contrast.
Magnifiers for print and electronic devices
Use of devices that respond to voice command
Researchers believe there is a link between nutrition and the progression of dry AMD. They have linked certain nutrients such as lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, E, and zinc to eye health. Other risk reducing practices are similar to those that help prevent heart disease and stroke:
Maintain a normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Eat an eye-healthy diet of green leafy vegetables and oily fish.
Call on the ophthalmologists and eye care specialists in your service area to market your agency and the ways low-vision patients can benefit from your home care services.
Visit the Home Care Observance Calendar to keep track of upcoming marketing opportunities.