Maximizing low vision through adaptation
What is Low Vision?
Low vision is a chronic medical condition affecting 1 in 6 adults over 45 years of age. Two thirds of persons with low vision are over 65 years of age. Three eye diseases account for the majority of low vision in older adults: macular degeneration; diabetic retinopathy; and glaucoma. These diseases increase in incidence as a person ages, and result in permanent visual impairment.
The Risks of Low Vision
Persons with low vision have a visual impairment which limits their ability to complete many necessary daily living activities, but allows some usable vision. Individuals with low vision are not blind — they have difficulty using their remaining vision efficiently and effectively enough to complete needed activities. They experience difficulty performing many basic activities of daily living including grooming, meal preparation, financial management and shopping.
Most importantly, a person with low vision’s safety is often at risk. They report difficulty using knives to chop and slice foods, difficulty accurately judging depth on stairs and curbs, difficulty accurately monitoring glucose levels and identifying medications, difficulty accurately dialing emergency telephone numbers such as 911, difficulty identifying spoiled foods, dials on stoves and water spilled on floors. Visual impairment has been identified as one of the primary contributes to falls among the elderly.
Despite these many difficulties, the majority of older adults with low vision remain in their own homes and most live alone with only minimal outside assistance.
How can Occupational Therapy Services Help?
Occupational therapy enables persons with visual impairment to safely and independently complete the daily living tasks compromised by their vision loss by:
- Teaching the person to use their remaining vision as efficiently as possible to complete activities;
- Modifying activities so that they can be completed with less vision; and
- Training the person in use of adaptive equipment to compensate for vision loss.
Low Vision Services at Griffin
Training is completed in the Griffin Hospital Low Vision Clinic or the person's home and community environment to ensure carryover into the person's daily activities. The number of therapy sessions required to achieve the functional goals established for the client ranges between 4 to 10 with an average of 6 sessions to achieve all goals. Griffin Hospital's partnership with the International Lions Club allows us to offer adaptive devices to our clients free of charge. These specific magnifiers are prescribed by opthamologists and optomotrists with their prescription for an Occupational Therapy Low Vision Evaluation.
The Lions Low Vision Centers of Fairfield and New Haven Counties was established in 1990 by the Lions Club to provide rehabilitation services to individuals with visual disabilities and handicaps.
Lions Low Vision Center at Griffin Hospital’s Rehabilitation Services
350 Seymour Avenue, 2nd Floor
Derby, CT 06418
Candidates for Service
To qualify for Lions Low Vision Services you will need to:
- Visit your eye care professional within the last month, and
- Obtain a prescription for a low vision evaluation
CALL (203) 732-7445 to arrange for an appointment. Be sure to bring the prescription for a low vision evaluation written by your eye care professional, and any eyeglasses, magnifiers or other devices you currently use. You will be asked to provide contact information for yourself and your eye care professional for statistical reporting purposes and if you would like to receive monthly announcements for Lions Low Vision Support Group Meetings in your area.
Contact us for an appointment: 203-732-7445
Lions Low Vision Center at Griffin Hospital's Rehabilitation Services Department
350 Seymour Avenue, 2nd Floor, Derby CT 06418
Please Note: A Presciption is needed.
How to get started
- Download the attached Lion's Low Vision Center Prescription Form.
- Have your Eye Care Professional fill it out.
- FAX this prescription form to 203-732-7390 or bring it to your first appointment (must be 30 within 30 days of the prescription date).
Discover the Griffin Difference: Our Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy patients enjoy these benefits while under our care:
- One-on-one care in private treatment rooms
- Convenient location with ample free parking and valet service
- Our recently renovated fitness center includes the latest equipment for aerobic and strengthening programs
- Participation in most insurance plans, including Medicaid Financial Assistance