Guest Author - Dean Ingalls
The thought of loss of vision is enough to deal with but combined with other health issues such as hearing loss makes the situation even harder. Now, add the aspect of living alone in a rural area out of reach of regular help and support from established organizations and a serious issue develops.
The vision issue of obtaining help and support for a person facing loss of vision in a rural area is an issue I dealt with on a smaller scale. After my surgeries and final treatments left me with limited vision I soon realized I would need to make some difficult decision in order to live with my loss of vision. I lived alone in a two bedroom home with a large yard that I was unable to keep in proper condition because of vision loss. Eventually, my vision issue became serious enough to make moving no longer a choice. I knew I was going to have to move and plan the move as a visually impaired person. The idea of moving is easier for me because I did not own the home and was not emotionally tied to the home. A person who has raised a family and lived in a home for most of the person’s life would have a very difficult time leaving their home. My situation is only similar to the more serious situation visually impaired people who live in rural areas face. I am asking for readers of this article for help. If you have any information to offer, then visit the vision issues forum and post your suggestions, thoughts or any contact information to an organization that can offer solutions.
I am writing this article in hopes of collecting a list of organizations or programs used by visually impaired individuals across the world and in America who have dealt with vision loss while living in a rural/isolated area. I am requesting each reader or visitor to become a contributor and participate in the Vision Issues forum. A special forum set up allowing a visitor to post information can be found by joining the Vision Issues forum on BellaOnline. A person can participate in the forum by developing a user name and password. Once, an account is setup for the vision issues forum a contributor can go to the Vision Issues forum thread and locate the posting area titled “Vision Support for Rural/Isolated Communities” to post information and participate in a discussion of the issue.
My request is for anyone who has knowledge about any type of program or organization that provides home support to individuals living with vision loss to post contact information for the organization or program.
The scenario I am writing this article about includes several aspects of rural life. The problem is one that forces an individual to make some very difficult decisions. I hope with all of my readers help to discover some other solutions for people facing life with vision loss who live in a small community or other isolated situation. A hypothetical situation I am interested in finding support and help with may include some of or more of the following conditions.
1. The person is losing his/her vision or has a combination of health issues and is quickly losing the ability to drive.
2. The person lives alone in a home the person owns, lived in for years, raised a family and wishes to continue to reside.
3. The family members of the visually impaired person all live hundreds of miles away and are well established in their places of residence.
4. The closes city large enough to support a visually impaired help organization or state program is over fifty miles in every direction. The programs located in the city only send people to a home for a few visits and do not have the essentials for providing regular home support to the person. Most of the programs require a client to travel to the organizations location to receive regular support and attend the meetings or classes. Some of the needed meetings or classes are held in the late evening or night.
My first thought or idea as a solution to this problem is to seek help from the surrounding neighbors or established facilities such as a church, school or business/farm. Of course, asking help from friends and neighbors is a hard option for me and I understand how others would not want to obtain help tin this manner. I only suggest this because sometimes people need to help others and if the person has lived in an area for a long time I would think the person would have some good neighbors who just might enjoy helping.
If you have any suggestions or possible solutions to the problem of help for the visually impaired in rural or isolated areas please, visit the “Vision Issues” forum and post your information.