How can I help my dad, who is losing his vision from macular degeneration?

3 answers | Last updated: Dec 03, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

Macular degeneration has severely limited my dad's vision. This is so sad and frustrating for him (and for me) because he used to be such an active guy, walking, and golfing and skiing. He's restless and getting depressed. I don't know where to turn to help him, or how to help him help himself. Ideas?

Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Macular degeneration is often very hard for people, as there’s currently no treatment for this problem. I would suggest calling your dad’s ophthalmologist to ask if he could be referred to a low vision center or program in your area. These centers will often do a visual assessment in the home, and can help people with low vision obtain visual aids. They may even have a support group to help your father cope with his vision loss. There are also schools (some are residential) that teach newly visually impaired people living skills, from cooking to shopping to golfing! If your dad is Medicare or Medicaid eligible, he may qualify for funding for all of these services. Your can also check nonprofits in your dad’s area that help people with visual impairments. There are some good organizations that offer social activities and classes.

Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...
Certainly link this article to the one on audio books and low vision evaluation. Occupational therapists specializing in low vision can teach skills re sewing, knitting, baking, carpentry, etc.

Naturaleyes answered...

Have you looked into natural therapies for macular degeneration? Though many in the conventional medical community will tell you that this is no treatment for macular degeneration, many people are having success with stabilizing their vision with a combination of diet improvements, supplementation, and lifestyle chances.

Certain nutrients such as omega-3 fish oil and CoQ10 with L-Carnitine may help slow down macular degeneration and preserve vision. Some research indicates that daily use of Microcurrent Stimulation may help preserve vision as well.

You can find more information here: