Supporting a loved one with sight loss

Coming to terms with sight loss can have a huge impact on both the person who is visually impaired and their family.

Often families can want to find out more about the conditions that are affecting their loved ones.

Some of the most common eye conditions we see at the Beacon Centre include:

Age Related Macular Degeneration
Affects a person’s central vision
Impacts on detailed tasks such as reading, writing and being able to recognise faces
Techniques to help maintain independence include using side vision more effectively as well as managing light and glare levels.

Cataracts
Creates a misty appearance to your vision as though you are looking through fog
Impacts on colour contrast and detailed tasks
Techniques to maintain independence include positioning of light and managing glare levels

Glaucoma
Can affect people of all ages but most common for those in their 70s and 80s.
It is often symptomless in the early stages but can affect the edge of someone’s vision.
It’s not possible to reverse any loss of vision that occurred before glaucoma was diagnosed, but treatment can help stop your vision getting any worse.

Macular Degeneration
Although painless it can cause central vision sight loss in both eyes
Affects reading and the ability to recognise faces and there are two types dry AMD and Wet AMD.
There’s some evidence to suggest a diet rich in leafy green vegetables may slow the progression of dry

AMD.
There are a number of treatment options for Wet AMD.

You can also support your family member adapt to life with sight loss with the help of our low vision equipment. Our staff will help your family find out about equipment that can support someone with sight loss in their own home.
We also operate a talking news and magazine service for those who are struggling to read.
If you family member is in work they may be eligible for a grant from Access to Work, the scheme run by Jobcentre Plus to provide advice and support to those living with sight loss.
The Beacon Centre also runs its own employment scheme for those looking for work. 
Depending on the severity of the sight loss your family member is living with they may be able to register as being visually impaired.
It is not compulsory but it may help for them to access certain benefits including disability living allowance and a reduction in the TV licence fee.

You can find out more about how to register a sight impairment here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-published-on-registering-a-vision-impairment-as-a-disability

If you have a family member who has been diagnosed with a condition that affects their vision they have a legal obligation to inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency if they are a driver. Failure to do so is a crime and can result in a fine of up to £1,000.