“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” – Helen Keller
“Aging; at this point, I know of no other moral alternative.” – Laurie De Seguirant
And so we age…
With the passing of time come bountiful blessings – and uninvited curses. We’ve shared how vitally important social contact is for seniors but what happens when an individual is faced with the reality of diminished vision? What then? How is this sense replaced? What words of comfort can be offered to an individual who, through no fault of their own, faces such a dramatic loss?
I will not minimize the seriousness of such prognoses but I must all the more emphasize the need for greater social connection. The individual facing loss may contemplate a self-imposed seclusion when in reality they require graceful but firm love and attention.
If you know of someone facing this prognosis, your presence will silently reinforce all the things that they will continue to possess. If you are the individual afflicted, reach out to those who have been there during the good times. You will soon realize that they will continue to be there and that there are good times yet to be enjoyed.
Having been dealt the blow of unfortunate news, having experienced the natural emotions of disbelief, fear and anger, it is time to face reality and determine to take back, from the heartless grip of passing time, control of our lives. It is time to direct our emotions to the beauties of the moment. It is time to enjoy, like never before, the sights and sounds that surround us. It is time to etch every experience into the depths of our hearts and protect the sacred gift of each and every moment.
In the Book of 1 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul offers encouragement by reminding us that while we savor the sights and sounds of each and every moment, there is much more to anticipate!
“But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him!” -1 Corinthians 2:9
When our heart is in alignment with the One Who holds the future we are prepared to take practical steps to adjust to the challenges of the present.
PRACTICAL STEPS TO TAKE
If you are currently involved with a social group, stay involved!
If you are not involved with a social group, get involved!
Get organized. Organize your life, your personal business and your home.
Walk through your daily tasks determining your necessities and your “inconsequentials.”
Keep medications in their original bottles and organize in alphabetical order.
The size and shape of pills can be memorized – practice until you can unmistakably tell the difference.
When taking your medication(s) utilize a flat tray with side edges to place your medication(s) in so that you avoid losing pills.
Raised stickers on medicine bottles can more readily identify medications.
There are many new devices available that can actually identify the bottle and communicate verbally the medicine inside. Doctors and pharmacist can direct you to these technological tools.
IN THE KITCHEN
Keep knives and sharp objects in a separate drawer from other cooking utensils.
Organize items by weight and shape.
Keep most often used ingredients on easily accessed lower shelves
Use air-tight surface containers for your most common ingredients
If containers feel the same, use rubber bands to denote the differences. One rubber band for sugar, two for flour.
Replace items in precise and specific locations.
Always wear short sleeves and if you have long hair, keep it covered or up
Turn off the stove before removing pans.
Locate a trusted friend or family member to assist you in sorting mail.
DO NOT LOSE HOPE! Becoming sightless does not mean that your interests change overnight. If you like to ride a bike, consider tandem. If you like to jog use a tether and jog with a running mate. BECOME AN OVERCOMER
Install text to voice software in your computer. You will be able to scan documents and have your computer read them to you.
Purchase audio books and read the books you never took time for before.
Practice being sightless and manage your daily routines with patches or dark glasses.
In most cases blindness does not take place in an instant. Therefore, after you have exhausted every medical alternative and have faced the realization that your future will be altered by the onset of failing sight, PREPARE!
Many of us watched with hopeful hearts as “The Blind Cook,” Christine Ha moved closer each week to ultimately win the title, “MasterChef 2012!” Before Neuromyelitis optica took her sight Christine majored in Finance. Although she was steadfastly independent this change in her life forced her to depend upon others. By opening herself to others she opened herself to new ideas, new opportunities and new possibilities. My point, do not isolate yourself in a visionless world. LOOK to the future! No disease can take a vision from the heart of an overcomer!
Loads of luv’n,