A Sight for Sore Eyes

Don’t Lose Sight of …Your Eyes

Legally blind. A frightening phrase for the elderly man or woman desperately trying to maintain independence. The familiar contours of the furniture of 50 years of marriage become enemies-obstacles in day to day functioning in the home. The simple chore of preparing a bowl of cheerios can result in frustration or even disaster. A misplaced item will remain misplaced. A simple trip to the grocery is no longer possible. As eyesight worsens, the senior lives in constant fear of completely losing his independence. And that is why over one hundred people attended the latest lecture at Ezer Mizion’s Malka Hager Fitness Center about common eye diseases among the elderly, and particularly Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) — a degenerative age-related disease.

Always in the forefront of current needs of the elderly, Ezer Mizion’s Golden Age Division provides the senior with varied exercise programs, transportation and meals, post-hospital aid, home repair assistance, a range of social activities to promote cognition retention, visual and hearing screenings and an awareness series on many topics.

As visual maintenance is of prime importance to the elderly, Dr. Gidon Na’or, chairman of the AMD Association in Israel,was invited  to raise public awareness of the disease (as well as other visual impairments), to provide theoretical knowledge about the condition, and also offer practical information about who to turn to, what can be done, and where to find support groups.

AMD is a genetic-based illness that causes gradual degeneration of the retina in advanced age and is the number one cause of legal blindness. The illness first manifests itself as reduced distinction of visual details. With time, it affects abilities to drive, read, and function around the home, until the patient loses his visual capacity completely.

As of today, no known cure is available yet for AMD. However, there are treatments and accessories that can slow the degenerative process and enhance the senior’s independent functioning.

As Dr. Na’or explained, the main goal of the association is to help AMD sufferers retain maximum functioning, in spite of their condition. He placed great weight on the importance of visual examinations and follow-up in the senior years.

For many a formerly active senior, old age comes as a shocking surprise and they are often left with little family support in what has become a terrifying, unstable day-to-day existence.

For further info: www.ezermizion.org

To read more of Ezer Mizion’s assistance to the golden-ager:



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