Browse By Topic: Support Groups

If you've been diagnosed with an eye condition, have a family member who has, or have become a caregiver, joining a vision loss support group may be the most important thing you'll ever do. Learn more about vision loss support groups and their role in the adjustment process, find resources to help you locate a vision loss support group, and read personal stories about people who are living independently after vision loss. You can also learn more about the wide range of helpful products and vision rehabilitation services that can help you continue to live independently in your home and community. Register to receive alerts and news relating to vision loss, including the latest updates in medical research.

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,

Breaking Free from the Flock: When Is It Time to Stop Going to the Support Group?

Editor's note: This blog post was originally published on Second Sense’s Second Opinions blog. Feeling the Safety in Numbers There is safety in numbers and comfort in being one of a crowd. But, sometimes it is necessary to see if you can stand alone. It means facing fears of failure and putting to the test everything you have learned up to that point. Blind service agencies and support groups provide a safe haven when you are adjusting to vision loss. You are supported emotionally and you are learning the many practical skills to be independent again. Who wouldn’t want to spend

Love, Belonging, and Commitment: Not Just for Your Valentine

Editor's note: This blog post was originally published on Second Sense’s Second Opinions blog. I have a small confession. Valentine’s Day has been a favorite holiday of mine since grade school. Once January hits, I am already planning a party that somehow never gets thrown. Wrapped up amongst thoughts of pink-iced heart-shaped sugar cookies with cinnamon heart candies on them is an appreciation for the less silly and more intangible idea of a day when it is expected that you demonstrate your feelings to honor the lasting relationships in your life (a perfect time for said cookie). This year I have been thinking a lot about vision loss support

Depression During the Holidays and Beyond

The holiday season is tough on those who are struggling with depression, anxiety and stress. Let’s face it--for many of us the family gatherings, endless shopping, and chaotic parties can leave us feeling down and exhausted. It’s a time that may be particularly difficult for someone new to vision loss. Many people who are blind or visually impaired find it stressful to go shopping, attend social functions, navigate crowds and manage family relationships. And that is just what the holidays are all about. Vision loss will certainly change the experience and may even trigger depression. Loneliness and social Isolation Predict Depression Social isolation is one of the biggest

What to Do When the Holidays Are Not So Jolly

For children, the holiday season can be magical and full of special delights. But as adults, sometimes they are filled with stress, hassles, loneliness and fatigue. In a season that is supposed to be merry and bright, we may not feel like celebrating. There is so much pressure and expectation to pull off the perfect holiday with perfect gifts, perfect decorations, perfect meals…and all with a perfect smile on our face! The reality is that life marches on and sometimes the holidays arrive at difficult times in our lives. We all can relate to this, I am certain. We have all experienced a holiday season which was less than perfect. Perhaps you are alone or sick this holiday. Maybe

Helping My Family Cope with Diabetes and Understanding the Consequences

Editor's note: As we come to the end of National Diabetes Awareness month, peer advisor Amy Bovaird shares her concerns about diabetes and its impact on her family. Impact of Diabetes on My Life Diabetes impacts my life because three people in my family have it and I see how it affects them. My mother and two brothers all have Type 2 diabetes. Mom, frail and slender at eighty-six, is very careful about her diet. She exercises as much as she safely can at her age, which means riding a stationary bicycle each day. Yet because diabetes

Surviving the Holidays and Vision Loss

What’s a picture of two people in love hugging on skis got to do with a piece about suicide? A suicide attempt is the cause of my blindness. Creating a life worth living from the apparent ashes of my life thirty something years ago took a lot of work. And I needed a lot of help. I had great teachers. I worked hard. And I had support. This piece is dedicated to the person who has supported me over a thirty year marriage, my husband, Jim. Thanks sweetie. I couldn’t have done it without you. Warning: This piece of writing takes an honest look at a difficult topic, suicide. Further warning: I’m not going to sugar-coat my story. If you’re depressed,

Coping with Life Changes as We Grow Older

Unexpected Changes in Vision As We Age Bring Unexpected Solutions With age there are many changes in life, some good and others that are more difficult. Some we expect, becoming grandparents, retiring, even arthritis and gray hair, but then we have the unexpected changes. At times we lose friends and loved ones, some struggle with the effects of a stroke, heart attack, and we even see friends and their families battle Alzheimer’s disease and the declines. Another loss many face is their vision. Age-related Vision Loss Can Affect All Areas of Life The loss can include simple everyday tasks such as

Support Groups Help Seniors Losing Vision

Michelle Miller, LCSW I Was the Best Grandma in the World The silence in the room reverberated through the walls. The words spoken by Mrs. GG left everyone speechless. The silence was apparent, and the raw emotion could be felt with every intake of breath in the room. Older men and women sat around a large round table not knowing what to do with their feelings, thoughts, or the strong reactions felt by the words spoken by Mrs. GG, a new group member. “I was the best grandma in the world, until my vision went south. I know I will never be able to do anything fun with my grand babies again! I’m so sad about this whole thing; I just

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