Guide for Family Members of those Coping with Low Vision

The following article discusses different ways that family members of people with low vision can assist their loved one, both in terms of the physical challenges as well as the emotional aspects of living with low vision impairment.

Guide for Family Members of those Coping with Low Vision in Bellflower

How To Support Family Members With Low Vision

As a medical diagnosis, low vision refers to visual deficiency that cannot be corrected through surgery or with standard interventions. Such vision loss often occurs secondary to other medical conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, inoperable cataracts, retinitis pigmentosa, and many other disorders. 

This visual impairment affects a person's ability to continue with their daily routine and activities. Additionally, the immense psychological stress of going from a condition of being fully functional to one where a person is reliant on loved ones, can take a tremendous toll on a person’s emotional well-being. In addition to the technical difficulties of coping with visual impairment, the emotional impact can be just as challenging. 

Left unaddressed, vision loss may cause feelings of helplessness and a loss of confidence, as people struggle with everyday tasks. Studies have shown that the “stages” for coming to grips with low vision sometimes mirror those of other types of grief. It is important that all parties have tools for coping with the emotional aspects of this condition. 

And it isn't only the one with the diagnosis who struggles. Family and friends struggle as they watch a beloved caregiver, mentor, sibling or friend, cope with challenges of visual deficiency. The age of the individual presents its own challenges. Assisting a young child differs from helping an older person. 

It is a normal reaction for people with low vision to feel emotionally down about their diagnosis. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way!

Amplify Eyecare of Greater Long Beach

Learning To Cope: Tools for Providing Emotional and Physical Support

There are so many options today to drastically improve the lives of people with low vision, and to enable them to resume their favorite activities and normal daily routines. This includes proper usage of vision aids and devices such as advanced optics, magnifiers, telescopes, digital aids, as well as a rehabilitation therapy program for learning to maximize skills and dealing with emotional challenges.

With the proper support system, both in terms of using appropriate visual aids, and even more importantly by receiving the  necessary emotional support; people with low vision are thriving and enjoying fulfilling lives. The importance of having a strong family network for emotional support cannot be overstated.

Emotional Support

Perhaps the most important thing to emphasize to a family member with low vision is to reassure them that you are there for them, and that you are willing to assist them. Vision loss can be frightening and many people are good at masking fear. Let them know that they can confide in you. People with low vision are at risk for developing clinical depression, anxiety disorders, and other mental health disorders. Psychological therapy and counseling provide effective coping tools for people learning to adapt to visual deficiency. 

A good vision rehabilitation program addresses all aspects of low vision, including the critical issues of emotional well-being. A low vision optometrist not only can help the patient understand how to cope, but also give them new hope for regaining their independence.


Physical Support

Family members should be willing to assist with visual aid interventions, therapies, or other means of support. This may mean helping family members with various devices or driving them to their rehabilitation specialist. By taking steps to improve the physical and emotional welfare of a person with low vision, you will be assisting their everyday living.It is important that loved one’s accompany them to their eye exams. 

Speak to our low vision optometrist about visiting a low vision occupational therapist who can help your loved one understand how to cope with the challenges of living with low vision. It is important to surround your loved one with a variety of resources and caring professionals who can help them understand that they can live a full and happy life after vision loss.

Common Questions

Stay informed of the latest research and expert information. There are many resources to provide education, information, and other services. Equally important is being sensitive to the family member and cultivating good communication skills. Subscribe to our youtube or email and as we are constantly adding new videos and articles that help people with low vision Additional tips to consider: Labeling objects and items Not moving things around in the house, which can confuse people with low vision Ensuring that there aren't objects on the floor or in the area that could impede their movement, or cause them to fall Ensuring that all areas of the house are properly lit throughout the day and night.
Guide for Family Members of those Coping with Low Vision
Dr. Ikeda cartoon

Supporting Family Members

The emotional challenges for people with low vision and family members are often as great as the physical challenges of coping with the physical visual deficiencies themselves. Fortunately, there are many options today for attending to both of these challenges, which have enabled people with low vision to continue to enjoy their lives and participate in normal routines and their favorite activities. 

One of the most important factors is having a strong family support system. Along with utilizing visual aids and therapies, the support of family is as critical in helping a low vision patient lead a fulfilling life. If you would like to know more about how to provide emotional support for a family member, contact our low vision optometrist to Book an Appointment . Patients with low vision visit our clinic from all over California, and we are proud to be a leading provider of low vision services for patients from Bellflower, Long Beach, Lakewood, and Los Angeles.


I haven't actually used the optometrist side, so my review is limited to the vision therapy offered.  This office was recommended by my occupational therapist for the treatment of my double vision following a stroke.

Claire A.

Love this location. I had a brain injury accident from day one one. All the team make you feel you still important and hope in the horizon after when the medical system fell you miserably. Dr. Ikeda very professional and very understanding about your issue. Two tombs up.

Jim K.

My husband and I were immediately impressed with Dr Ikeda. I was hit by a car while cycling which caused broken bones and three brain injuries. The brain injuries caused double vision. Dr. Ikeda examined my eyes and got me started on vision therapy with his occupational therapist who specializes in vision therapy.  She (Chris) is absolutely great.  I am impressed with the array of tools used to help recover my binocular vision.  I am doing things I never thought were possible (balance boards etc).  Chris pushes me and keeps me motivated. I really enjoy my sessions with her.  The office staff is always friendly and they have a wonderful appointment reminder tool that makes it easy to keep my calendar up to date. I am happy the rehab center at Little Co. of Mary recommended them!!

Teresa S.

The Vision Therapy is handled in a separate office through a different door from the shared waiting room. Chris, the vision therapist, has a wide and varied assortment of tools, equipment and resources to best evaluate and treat most vision issues. After just a few visits, my double vision became easier to control, using exercises developed during the therapy process. It was time well-spent.

Joe M.

I have been coming here since I can remember. I love it here. The staff is so amazing and nice. They explain everything they gonna do and never make you feel rushed. Dr. Ikeda has always been my doctor and I would never want another one. He is the doctor for my whole family and is always asking how everyone is doing. I am also so crazy about picking out my frames and have to try so many and each person who helps me take the time and lets me try them all on. I would never want to go anywhere else! I definitely would recommend this office to anyone looking for a great eye doctor.

Kayla W.

This is not for the eye exam but for the frames selection portion. I brought my prescription from Kaiser here with my VSP insurance. The reception staff was very polite and professional.  Manny helped me to pick out frames and explain my coverage.  Very helpful and patient not like the individual at the other place I rated here on Yelp.  I was running late and he still helped me and was not bothered at all.  I am so glad I came here ..........very pleased.

Very professional staff and pleasant.

Daniel G.
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