As a friend or relative of someone with impaired vision you play a key role in helping the person adjust to that condition. You are equally important as a partner in the process of vision rehabilitation.
Whether the problem occurs suddenly or gradually, it is bound to cause stress, anxiety, and vision-related physical limitations such as writing or driving. An understanding, supportive circle of friends and relatives can provide the foundation for building a “redesigned” life. The family’s attitude can greatly influence the course of action.
If you consider the person’s vision impairment in terms of a problem or series of problems (as opposed to a tragic event), the next logical step is to seek solutions. The thought itself is empowering; it assumes that there are answers to be found. The next step is to approach it as a team effort, with planning and decision making in the hands of the visually impaired person, assisted by others in the group plus specialists in the vision rehabilitation field.
Keep in mind that the most valuable help you can give is:
- Encouraging self-reliance
- Building self-confidence
- Recognizing progress
- Avoiding overprotectiveness
FamilyConnect offers a virtual lifeline to parents of children with visual impairments. We provide information and resources, and host an online community where families find support, comfort and help.
Vision loss happens to families, not just individuals. If you have a parent, spouse, other family member, or friend who is experiencing vision loss, you naturally want to offer comfort and support. What you may want most of all, however, is to see that person in the same light as before: independent, capable, and full of life. Find support and inspiration at the American Foundation of the Blind partner site, VisionAware®.