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Vision Loss and Seniors

Posted Oct 07 2008 7:17pm

Compass In my work I spend a lot of time gathering information about professionals my clients may want to know about. Vision Loss Resources is fantastic resource for anyone with aging parents who might be struggling with some loss of vision. This article is submitted by Vision Loss Resources.

Today more than 6.5 million Americans over age 65 have a severe visual impairment. According to a recent study, the National Eye Institute found that the risk of low vision and blindness increases significantly with age, particularly in those over the age of 65. This, combined with an aging population, means that rates of vision loss from diseases like age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts are expected to double by the year 2030, as the nation’s 78 million baby boomers reach retirement age. Like many other issues of aging, vision loss will present challenges for keeping seniors independent and connected to their communities.

So what do you do when you or a loved one begins to lose their vision?

For many seniors, normal age-related vision loss can be corrected or stopped with glasses, medication or surgery. For others, vision aids and making changes to their homes and routines help them stay safe and independent. The important thing to know is that many services and supports are available through MN State Services for the Blind and several non-profit organizations. One local non-profit resource is Vision Loss Resources. In 1993, two of Minnesota's leading providers of services for the blind (Minneapolis Society for the Blind and Saint Paul Society for the Blind), merged to create what is now Vision Loss Resources. The mission of Vision Loss Resources is to assist people who are blind or visually impaired in achieving their full potential and to enrich the lives of all persons affected by blindness or vision loss.

Staff at VLR work daily to educate and inform clients and family members about the options available to them, the emotional aspects associated with vision loss and what programs might be beneficial to help maintain independence. Staff are available for in home consultations, ongoing support, classes and referrals to services other agencies provide. VLR’s programs are carefully designed to help clients learn new techniques and skills for living independently which can include: meal preparation, household chores, laundry, clothing organization, managing finances, correspondence and more.

Most programs and services are available free of charge. Vision Loss Resources is an independent, nonprofit 501C(3) agency with offices in both Minneapolis and St. Paul. Our programs serve the 11-county Twin City Metro area. To learn more please feel welcome to visit our website at

www.visionlossresources.orgor call 612-871-2222.

By – Ellen Morrow, M.A.

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