Sunday, February 25, 2024
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Summer is here, so I’ve recently been making plans for an out-of-town visit by my blind cousin Melanie. We’re planning lots of fun excursions including mountain climbing and wild swimming.

My cousin sometimes gets a little stressed out when she’s in public, so I help her deal with it using some of the best natural alternatives for anxiety and stress.

For example, mediation and yoga are recommended ways to calm nerves and control emotions. Holistic treatments will help us both prepare for and enjoy the Great Outdoors. Read more in this article.

I got a phone call from Melanie a few days ago. We talked about some activities that help her deal with blindness. I learned a lot from her and did some research to learn more.

Understand the Grieving Process

Losing your eyesight can be devastating at first, so it’s essential to understand the stages of grief related to blindness.

This understanding has helped Melanie and her family deal with the emotional and physiological challenges better. Sometimes a reassuring hug from someone who cares to listen is all she needs.

Learn More about Blindness

Written and audio materials about vision loss are available through public and private sources, such as state agencies and non-profit organizations.

It’s been easier to deal with my cousin’s blindness by learning more about it. Melanie frequently talks with her eye doctor and other people who share her medical condition.

Start Therapeutic Counseling

Vision loss can occur during any age, but it’s most common among older adults such as senior citizens(1).

Melanie became blind at the age of six due to an inherited eye disease. This major life event can trigger a wide range of feelings and emotions(2), including loneliness, anxiety, helplessness, and depression.

Recent studies show that depression symptoms can be as high as 44% among visually impaired people(3).

Melanie has shared that sometimes she feels a bit down. I always cheer her up by joining her in her favorite hobbies, like listening to music, dancing, gardening, and playing the guitar.

My cousin has accessed therapeutic counseling for blindness through her physicians, non-profit organizations, and state agencies.

She also received referrals to other professionals that catered to her unique needs.

Take Adjustment Classes 

Blindness can make everyday tasks, such as dressing and cooking, more challenging. The good news is that adjustment classes can provide new or alternative methods to stay independent.

Melanie shared that these classes helped her with the emotional aspects of living with blindness. For example, she learned ways to increase her patience and confidence.

Use Assistive Technologies

In the digital age, blind and visually impaired people have many technological devices to improve their daily lives. These devices include items, equipment, and systems to make the lives of people with disabilities more functional(4).

I’ve learned about some devices that have made my cousin’s living with blindness easier:

Electronic Mobility Aid

These devices use ultrasonic waves to bounce off obstacles in front of a blind person. This process helps Melanie learn what’s ahead of her.

I read recently that blind people can maximize electronic mobility aids by combining them with a long cane or seeing-eye dog.

Ray Electronic Mobility Aids

This small device can detect obstacles up to several feet away. The mobility aid provides Melanie with an audio signal when it detects an object.

Choose a Service Dog

Melanie’s pet dog Fido is a certified service dog that goes everywhere with her.

Service dogs need to be trained to help people with disabilities, like blindness or visual impairment. I’ve learned that a blind human’s “best friend” can assist them by:

  • Guiding them visually
  • Helping with poor balance
  • Reminding them to take medicine

References

  1. Vision loss: coping

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/8604-vision-loss-coping

  1. ibid.
  1. Relationship between legal blindness and depression

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6778679/#B11

  1. Blind/Visual impairment: common assistive technologies

https://guides.library.illinois.edu/c.php?g=526852&p=3602299

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