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Importance of Emotional Support for Family Members of Visually Impaired
Receiving a recent diagnosis of low vision or complete blindness can seem devastating to the individual who now has to live with their vision impairment every day.  Fear of the unknown, denial, depression, confusion surrounding who we are now, and the overwhelming task of having to relearn everyday tasks can take over if you’re not sure where to turn for help or know what to do next.  We understand change is difficult, and that’s why we’re here for you.

Fortunately, we have many resources here at our Center right at your fingertips, helping you move forward with a new plan of action.  San Diego Center for the Blind and Vision Impairment provides assistance in vision rehabilitation, counseling, orientation & mobility training, and technology training all at no cost to the individual who needs our assistance.  We can help you overcome the fear of change so you do not have to be isolated or feel alone – we can provide you with the tools you need to live independently again!

While it’s important for the individual to receive the tools and training from our Center, it’s equally important to educate the friends and family members on what to expect and how to provide support to this person, and we can help with this too!

Many times, the friends and family members are afraid for their loved one - Will they fall and hurt themselves?  How will they cook without burning themselves?  How will they support themselves financially now?  How will they get around?

Sometimes the fear and anxieties the friends and family experience is much greater than the fear of the individual who has to manage their new challenges.  Quite often friends and family’s fears can inhibit the progress of the individual who is trying to live independently.  This happens in a variety of ways, but the core issue seems to be that the friends/families are overwhelmed by their fear and thus do not trust the training we provide or the individual’s ability to learn new methods to live independently.  They prohibit the individual from walking around by themselves, traveling to get groceries by themselves, or cooking for themselves, to name a few examples.  If the individual cannot use the tools we provide to them, their skills will diminish, which can be dangerous to the individual, and is why it’s vital to have the friends and family members on board to give the emotional support their loved one needs.

Just as the friends and family can inhibit someone’s progress dealing with their vision loss on a daily basis, they can also promote their independence. Because of this, we provide an Adjustment to Vision Loss Seminar: How to Help Your Loved One Cope with Changing Vision.  We provide these seminars FREE of charge periodically throughout the year.  The next one is coming up Saturday April 11, 2015, from 10:00am – Noon at our Center, 5922 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego 92115.  It’s free to attend, but we ask that you register so we can plan ahead.  Please register at our website, today!  (And if you missed this one, contact us for the dates of the next one: 619-583-1542)
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