Browse By Topic: Caregiving

Early Warning Signs of Dementia and Its Effects on Vision

Editor's note: For Older American's Month, Sandra Burgess shares her experiences with her mother's onset of dementia. Losing Memory Slowly My mom began to lose her memory very slowly. So slowly, in fact, that it was not terribly noticeable nor was it enough of an issue to cause her or her family any concern. My mom would say she couldn’t think of a word or remember someone’s name. As forgetfulness worsened, she realized something was not the same and talked about her frustration. When a woman from the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association visited her and conducted some

Understanding Vision and Perception Problems Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease

  November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness and Caregiver month. In this post, we alert you to information on how Alzheimer’s disease can alter vision and perception, what type of difficulties this can cause, and how to support and care for the person experiencing these disturbances. Even older adults with low vision or severe vision loss without the additional complications of Alzheimer's or cognitive problems need special support and accommodations to remain healthy, engaged, and

Where to Find Help When Your Loved One Is New to Vision Loss

Editor's Note: November is National Caregivers Month with a special day celebrated on November 1. We have had a large number of inquiries from family members seeking advice, so VisionAware's support group advisor has written a special blog post to help provide some answers and resources.   Vision Loss: A Distressing Experience Vision loss is a distressing experience for not only the person with the eye condition but also for their loved ones. When a family member begins to have difficulties with activities of daily living, can no longer drive, and cannot get around safely, it can affect their partner, children, and close friends. Suddenly,

Grandma’s Glory: Tips for a Successful Visit from Your Grandchildren

Editor's Note: In honor of Grandparent's Day (Sunday, September 10th), Mary Hiland, a VisionAware peer advisor with retinitis pigmentosa, has written a delightful post about a recent visit from her grandchildren. Read and enjoy! Grandma's Glory By Mary Hiland My daughter Kara and her family, husband and three children, were just here for a few days, and we had a wonderful time together. When they arrived, they had been in the car for many hours, so I was expecting

ADA for All, Including Disabled Parents of Non-Disabled Children

Unless one studies and interprets the legalese of our laws, it can be quite overwhelming when trying to understand our rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act as individuals with disabilities. While I had been capitalizing on services for students with disabilities during my college years, I recently came across a confusing scenario that snowballed into several departments, agencies, and advocacy groups coming together to ensure my rights be respected and, most importantly, enforced. <img src="" width="250px" alt="Steven sitting at a desk with a

Maintaining Independent Living with a Visual Impairment

Editor's Note: Today's post is from guest blogger, Jackie Waters. Jackie is a mother of four boys and lives on a farm in Oregon. She is passionate about providing a healthy and happy home for her family and aims to provide advice for others on how to do the same through her own website. She has recently had an older relative come live with her and, together, they worked on needed changes in the home to make it safe and easy to access. We are sharing this for Older Americans Month to help caregivers and their loved ones who are encountering similar situations. A Stranger in Your Own Home If you’re dealing with some sort of visual impairmentwhether it be from injury,

Driving on the Horizon: One Story of Parenting a Teen As a Visually Impaired Mother

The reality any parent will tell you is this: as children become teens, their abilities grow along with their independence. We must be there to guide but also to accept and take pride in their accomplishments. I did not expect the bittersweet reality of my daughter’s driving to overwhelm me as it did, but perhaps this story will reassure others that what you are feeling is normal. Driving on the Horizon: One Story of Parenting a Teen “You can come with us, Mom, but don’t freak out, because if you do, so will I.” These grudging words pave our way to my daughter Sophia’s third driving experience. The sapphire dusk is

A Time of Joy and a Time of Sorrow: Grandmothering Without Sight

Editor's note: This post is part of the Blind Parenting series created to provide visually impaired parents and grandparents with first-hand accounts of how you can raise a child safely and independently. In today's post, Sheila Rousey shares her experience of becoming a grandmother with vision loss. A Time of Joy and a Time of Sorrow: Grandmothering Without Sight by Sheila Rousey

A Grandma's Thoughts

Editor's note: This post is part of the Blind Parenting series created to provide visually impaired parents and grandparents with first-hand accounts of how you can raise a child safely and independently. In today's post, Mary Hiland shares the importance of teaching children how to interact with individuals who have low vision and how to build positive relationships. A Grandma's Thoughts By Mary Hiland, grandmother

Alzheimer’s, Vision Loss, and Caregiving

Editor's note: November is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month. Stephanie McCoy, VisionAware Peer Advisor, relates her family's battle with the disease and her journey in becoming a caregiver as a person who is visually impaired. The Long Road to Diagnosis Twenty years ago Alzheimer’s took my grandmother. And now my mother has been diagnosed with it. Though the contrast of how the disease manifested itself between my grandmother and mother was significant, after consulting with my mother’s physicians, it seems that 13 years ago, the clock began ticking for my mother. While my grandmother lived with the most severe symptoms of Alzheimer’s for

Wind Chimes: Blessings From My Mom

It was a warm afternoon, so I slid open the patio doors and pulled out a patio chair to enjoy a few minutes of just being. Although it was warm, it was breezy, so the wind chimes hanging in the corner of the screened in patio were dancing and playing a simple but complicated tune. My feelings about those wind chimes were also complicated. The Entrance Last August, during the calling hours for my mother's funeral, our murmuring conversations were abruptly interrupted by the sound of clanging, clanging that was moving into the room. My first reaction was to be indignant. Why would somebody come clanging into this quiet room uninvited, and what on earth was that? Someone else jumped up and

Coping with Caregiving in Your Own Way: You Can Help

Editor's note: Amy Boviard's sister passed away this week and she asked that we share this post as a memorial to her sister who has just ended a long journey with illness. You may want to read other posts in our caregiving series. Amy Many of you are visually impaired and/or hearing impaired like me. (I have retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and Usher's Syndrome, a condition in which people with RP gradually lose hearing.) Or maybe your age impedes you from doing all that you want to do. Caring for and communicating with a family member

Thanksgiving and My Membership in the Sandwich Generation

As we enter the Thanksgiving season, this post about family caregiving and family values and traditions is particularly relevant. This post is also part of our Sandwich Generation Series. Three Generations in the Home As in most family interactions, there are more smiles than teeth grindings in being a grandparent who is called upon to help raise their grandchildren. This is especially true for a

Caring for the Caregiver through the Seasons

This post is part of our Sandwich Generation Series. Becoming The Unplanned Caregiver “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” Mother Teresa Even though I was caring for a family of three young children and was helping my husband to establish a new business, I somehow fell into the role of caregiver for my mother-in-law. Eighty year old Vera arrived for a two week holiday and ended up living with us for seven years! During her visit, Vera had cried out

Scrabble: Staying in the Game

This post is part of our Caregiving series. My 98-year-old mother can’t remember what she had for lunch, but she knows the rules of Scrabble, comes up with obscure words that only avid crossword puzzlers know, and grabs those triple word scores with glee. Sometimes, she struggles to make a play, when the tiles in her rack don’t include a consonant, but anybody would. Last night, at one point during our

Being a Caregiver and Advocate When You Are Blind

This post is part of our Caregiving Series in honor of National Family Caregivers Month. Mother in Emergency Room There are times when I feel more blind than usual, and when my 98-year old mother was sent to the emergency room (ER), this was one of them. First, when I got the call from the assisted living home, I had to recruit someone to take me to meet Mom at the hospital. It was the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Fortunately,

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