New to vision loss

I am 64 and have rapidly lost my vision to macular degeneration. I just found this site and have found new hope and answers to questions I haven't even thought to ask. I have been incredibly fortunate in that I have disability insurance and at least I am not struggling financially. I am having a lot of problems with isolation. I've never been a people person and now I avoid leaving home. I'm saddened and embarrassed at my loss of vision and I hate to try and explain things to people. I have always been strongly independent and asking for any assistance horrifies me. Is anyone out there have similar feelings?

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Re: New to vision loss

Hi Everyone

I have been working as a specialist in the field of assistive aids for the visually impaired. I would like to aware the people new to vision loss about the assistive aids existing in the market.

The Live Braille Mini is a small device that can be worn like a ring, and it has two ultrasonic rangefinders that are used in tandem to detect how far an obstacle is, what direction it is in, and a few more advanced functions as well

Re: New to vision loss

Hi Maebeth- I am so glad you have reached out on this message board for some support! I am one of the Peer Advisors here at VisionAware and I have a disease called retinitis pigmentosa. My vision loss has been progressive and has happened over many years. But the experience of frustration, feeling isolated, and losing one's independence in the early stages of visual changes can be common. There is definitely an emotional impact that has to be acknowledged. We all go through a grieving process over the many changes and losses which take place when we lose our vision. Here is a helpful article to read about this:

Eventually, with time, courage and training things will get better for you. I recommend seeing a low vision specialist to get a Low Vision Evaluation. You can find services for the visually impaired in your area by using the Directory of Services and narrowing your search by your state.

By taking this first step, you will learn about vision rehabilitation and the agencies that offer this important training. You can learn how to best use the vision you have and what tools and techniques can help you reclaim your life and independence. The training will include how to do activities of daily living, how to get around safely at home and in your community, and how to use adapted technologies like the computer or ipad for reading and accessing information. You will probably qualify for this training under a government program for seniors with vision loss at no cost to you. Here is a lin to read more about Low Vision Examinations and Vision Rehab Services:

So as we are fond of saying loss is not a death sentence and you still can do the things you want to do with the right tools and training. I also recommend attending a support group in your area so you can meet others who are living with vision loss and learn from them. Feel free to write again with any questions and I wish you all the best on this new journey. Audrey

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