A new free low vision advisory service for members of the public will provide low vision assessments and information about the aids and technologies available to help maintain independence and quality of life.
The service has been established by Macular Disease Foundation Australia at its Sydney CBD offi ce in collaboration with Guide Dogs NSW/ACT. It involves a dedicated Guide Dogs orthoptist working closely with patients to assess each patient’s needs and determine which aids and technologies will assist their individual requirements.
“We know vision loss and blindness impact healthy and independent ageing and are associated with an increased risk of falls, depression and hip fractures as well as a decrease in social independence,” said Macular Disease Foundation Australia CEO JulieHeraghty. “Through sound evidence we also know that low vision rehabilitation can improve quality of life and independence. What is surprising is only 20 per cent of those living with low vision are accessing services.”*
The Foundation wants to encourage all people living with low vision to seek help and have a low vision assessment.
“I ask all Sydney eye care professionals to inform their patients of this free service. We offer a welcoming and supportiveenvironment for those seeking assistance and advice. Bookings are essential, so it’s important to pass on the Foundation’s tollfree number, (AUS) 1800 111 709,” said Ms. Heraghty.
* O’Connor & Keeffe 2007