Hazel eyes close up

Today is Thursday it’s my Low Vision Clinic which is held at Princess Alexandra Hospital. It’s a great bit of work between Support 4 Sight and the NHS.

I usually arrive at the hospital about 8.15 after about an hour’s drive, to get parked (always fun) and then into the clinic to get set up for the clinic. Gather my notes together, switch on the computer to see who is coming today, a mixture of ages from a 7-year-old a 17-year-old and up to those in their 90’s. All bring a different need for support.

Usually, there is a mixture of new and follow up visits, a real relationship is built upon and we are pleased to see people coming back have been able to be more independent. This is a great clinic as most people will go away with a smile on their face and not just the patient, many carers get something out of this appointment. So many come along being unable to read and go away with a magnifier which has given them some independence.

Also, anti-glare glasses which mean they are able to mobilise safely outdoor and even the yellow tint which many people find are magical to help with reading better.

There are some people whose sight is so poor that magnification is no longer useful for them, but we will talk about the many ways that Support 4 Sight can help them. Most people do not know what is out there to help. One patient was eligible to have a Certificate of Visual Impairment and so we worked with a consultant to get the form filled in and sent off to the local Council.

We are also very lucky to have Marilyn and Len around on Low Vision days, they have a desk upstairs where many others gain the Information, advice and guidance they so desperately need while being able to see items of equipment to help them.

The clinic also has raised the need to refer onto other organisations for support and this means that the clinic we ran provided all round holistic support to enable people with sight loss to live as independent lives as they can.

This afternoon I had a visit to see a young lady who is having problems with Personal Independence payment which had been declined. Any foray into the benefits world is extremely stressful for people who have the need for this. The forms and assessment are not nice to fill in or to attend. This was the first time I met her so needed to get a full list of her problems and needs so we can then work together to formulate an appeal letter so she can get the benefit that she is entitled to.

Anything to do with benefits and sight loss is so much more difficult as it is an invisible condition and the benefit forms are very weighted to those with a physical and so a visible impairment.

The next step will be to formulate an appeal letter and so hope that we will be successful with the appeal.