Working for People with Sight Loss

Self-Care

Self-care is the way in which we look after our physical and mental health. Having a self-care routine is an important way to look after ourselves. Your Community Resource Worker can assist you with creating and maintaining a self-care routine to maximise your eye health. NCBI has many resources at your disposal to incorporate into your self-care routine.

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Video

1. Physical Health Resources

NCBI’s Youtube Channel has many exercise videos that you can follow to improve and maintain your physical health. Click on the following link to see Exercise for Everyone Week 1 Subscribe to our Youtube Channel for the full course of videos and for more videos uploaded regularly. Vision Sports Ireland is now part of NCBI and is the National Governing Body for sport and leisure activities for people who are blind or vision impaired. Check out for Vision Sports Ireland here.

Good physical health, including eye health, begins with a healthy diet. Including foods such as leafy greens, vegetables, oily fish, eggs, nuts, beans, and fruit in your diet will ensure you are getting enough nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins C and E which are all specifically important for eye health.

Quick tips for maintaining eye health:

  • Quit smoking – Studies show smoking increases the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.
  • Protect your eyes from the sun – Protect your eyes from harmful UV rays by wearing sunglasses that filter UVA and UVB light. NCBI can provide anti-glare glasses during your functional vision assessment.
  • Avoid long periods at the computer screen – Rest your eyes every 20 minutes. Look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Get up at least every 2 hours and take a 15-minute break.

 

2. Mental Health Resources

Vision loss can take a toll on a person’s mental health, especially if you have been recently diagnosed. It is important to check in with yourself, maintain a mental health routine, and always ask for help if you need it. Some areas of concern that may cause mental health issues for anyone, but especially a person with sight loss, include: isolation, loss of privacy, stigma, or poor self-image.

Your Community Resource Worker is there for you to offer emotional support and be a listening ear. You can also be referred to the NCBI Emotional Support and Counselling Service. These services can be done either face to face or over the phone.

Quick tips for maintaining mental health:

  • Healthy sleep routine – a good sleep routine is extremely important for maintaining a healthy mental state. There is overwhelming evidence that proves this is a key component in a good mental health routine.
  • Manage stress – we can all become overwhelmed with tasks we have to do, work piling up and the general stresses of life so it is important to manage your stress. One strategy that can help is creating a schedule to keep track of tasks, often if you write a problem down you will realise that it is manageable.
  • Social contact – we are social beings and keeping in touch with friends and family is important for your mental health. Being connected to other people is good for our self-esteem and can be a good source of support in difficult times. NCBI run a Connection Network programme for service users who wish to have social contact through a weekly phone call with our volunteers.
  • Ask for help – if you feel you are unable to manage your mental health independently, know that you are not alone and help is only a phone call away. Contact NCBI on 1850 33 43 53 to be referred to our Counselling Service, and if you feel you are in immediate danger contact the emergency services by calling 112 or 999.

Home Care

Home care can become challenging if you have been diagnosed with an eye condition and are experiencing sight loss. Seeing the dials on the washing machine, setting the time on the microwave, identifying clothes when dressing – what were once mundane tasks can seem overwhelming when faced with the issue of sight loss. NCBI are here to help with strategies to tackle any issues you may be having at home and to make suggestions on environmental adaptations.

Video Resources to assist with some aspects of Home Care:

Eating Out and At Home

Storing and Identifying Clothes

Kitchen Skills

Bump-on stickers for appliances

Task Lighting