Author Topic: Visual impairment- advice please  (Read 287 times)

ditchdwellers

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Visual impairment- advice please
« on: 12 Sep 2022 11:36AM »
A neighbour of mine is SVI, newly so, and is currently getting no support from any services whatsoever.
The only only support he has is from his partner who has had to reduce her hours at work to help him.


He's a great guy with lots of interests who is getting frustrated with not being able to go out or do much. He's burning himself in the kitchen and I'm sure there's help out there but I don't know how they can access it.


This is an area I'm not at all familiar with and would like to help them as they're such nice people and so friendly.


If anyone can point me in the right direction I would be extremely grateful. Thanks 😊

oldtone27

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Re: Visual impairment- advice please
« Reply #1 on: 12 Sep 2022 12:22PM »

A starting point should be your local authority 'mobility team', or some such name. They should be able to give helpful advice and sometimes assistive equipment.


Additionally I would recommend seeing if there is a local VI association or some such. I volunteer for a local one and they are able to offer various support.


Possibly the most valuable is if they have any group meetings of similar age to your neighbour. If they are like ours they can almost certainly offer practical advice by members who have found ways of dealing with their condition. This can be most valuable in lifting people's mood.


They may also offer occasional events which encourage people to get out and feel less isolated.

Monic1511

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Re: Visual impairment- advice please
« Reply #2 on: 12 Sep 2022 01:07PM »
Hi
I’d contact the local council and ask for a referral to the visual impairment unit and occupational health. Also ask for a referral for benefits advice, some councils have welfare rights teams some don’t but he should be applying for pip at least if not esa new style

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Visual impairment- advice please
« Reply #3 on: 12 Sep 2022 09:20PM »
When I was 'night blind'  (which meant, for example, in daylight, not being able to see anything below table height in a coffee shop such as Starbucks, Costa etc., and not being able to see the pavement after lighting up time (with the streetlights on), I had to turn to Ouchers for help because I fell through the cracks in the system.

One pointer was to the RNIB, and they were super in steering me towards a local visual impairments charity who were very helpful.  I was examined and advised by an ophthalmologist.  They sold me a white cane.  They said normally they didn't sell one to someone who hadn't done a course, but I'd arrived with a home-made one (!) so they sold me one but did say that if I later felt I did need a course, the council did courses on how to use them.

I contacted the council on the number the charity gave me and was told I had to be registered.  Yes, I said, that's why I'm phoning.  I got nowhere.  You've probably worked out what the miscommunication was.  I thought they meant I had to be registered on the course, they meant I had to be registered VI or SVI to do the course. 

I bet if I'd gone back to the local charity, they'd have given me more help and steered me through the system, and if not, the RNIB might well have recommended other local sources of help.

So I think something important is not to hesitate to ask for help and keep asking for it.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

ditchdwellers

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Re: Visual impairment- advice please
« Reply #4 on: 13 Sep 2022 10:15AM »
Thanks 😊


All this information is a lot to take in and I'll go away and research what's available locally and make some notes.


I want to be able to present some coherent and easy to follow next steps for my neighbours to take as I think they're feeling overwhelmed and at a loss as to where to turn to for help.


You all know what it's like trying to navigate your way through Social Services for the first time. It's quite bewildering especially when you don't know what you're actually entitled to.


So thanks again for all your pointers and advice. Hopefully I can help them improve their quality of life.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Visual impairment- advice please
« Reply #5 on: 13 Sep 2022 10:46AM »
Bluntly, I think it can help people trying to get help for the first time to make sure they know something that's so obvious to those in the system, as it were, for a while, but that sadly isn't to a lot of people - there are rarely enough resources to go round in official services, so it's competitive and you have to treat it as a competition to win.

This is an aspect of life I've fallen down on and only in recent years come to realise how much I've lost out because of it.   I tend in life to ask for precisely what I think is fair, reasonable, my entitlement etc.  But that often won't get you what you should have.  I'm not good at it, but it's the sort of thing where you put up a fair case for more than you'd settle for, whilst giving the impression that if push comes to shove, you'll settle for less, but that if you don't get anything, you'll be a time-consuming pain in the wotsit. 

Thus, if they're good at negotiating, use those skills, and if not, see if anyone with those skills can help them.

Ironically, I think this comes close to something OtE said, and of course I may have misinterpreted him, but whereas I thought he was saying, to paraphrase, we have to just fight for ourselves and that's it, I see it as fighting our own case for what we need, and also doing what we can, little or a lot, to stand with others. 

It is, I believe, perfectly reasonable, to fight competitively for what you know you are reasonably and genuinely entitled to. 
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

ditchdwellers

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Re: Visual impairment- advice please
« Reply #6 on: 14 Sep 2022 10:35AM »
Well said.
I will bear this in mind.