Low Vision Strategies and Partnering with Commission on the Blind, Wayne NE

By Ryan Hough, Therapy Resource – Gateway NE
Kim cooper, our lead OT at Wayne Countryview Care and Rehab in Wayne NE, is a very clinically driven therapist who is always creatively implementing programming to address the needs of the residents. Kim recently identified several patients with low vision, and immediately went to work to strategize ways to improve their lives. She pursued a partnership with The Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and with their help and generous donations, they now have products for these residents to enhance their ability to participate and do day-to-day tasks. Some examples of the products donated are large bingo cards, large playing cards, writing templates, glare reducing sunglasses, dice with raised numbers, and an Eschenbach magnifier that works like a smart phone that you can move with fingers. When implementing any of these strategic interventions, remember to work with nursing to care plan the findings and the interventions provided.

Case Scenarios

Kim has a resident with severe macular degeneration. She has been staying in her room for meals because she was constantly spilling at meal time. Kim initiated therapy and worked closely with Nebraska Commission for the Blind. Kim designed a placement (picture attached) that lays out where the meal is all located so that she can find all of her utensils, foods and liquids. The placement is laminated and fits into the tray based on her vision loss. Patient was educated on the design of the placement along with the caregivers so that the lay out is always the same. This has resulted increased independence and self-esteem, as she now doesn’t need to stay in her room to eat meals. In part because of this success, they are exploring a discharge to an ALF that otherwise may not be possible.

Resident number 2 has severe glaucoma. This resulted in not being able to read the lunch menu, read the clock, read the activities schedule, and she stopped playing bingo because she couldn’t see the cards. They worked with Commission for Blind to get a talking clock, a magnifier similar to IPad size/Eschenbach magnifier that gives her color contrast, up to 12x the magnification, and camera to take a picture. Resident is much more engaged in daily activities within the facility and even resumed doing her cross-word puzzles.

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