Special thanks to Ms Jiuqiu Zhao who shares her thoughts regarding her grandmother and how the family help her adapting to life with decreased eyesight. Below is her post:
My grandmother was a teacher before she retired. Eight years ago my grandfather passed away leaving her alone. Although my mother and uncle live quite close to her house and they both visit her regularly, most of the time she has to spend time on her own.
Grandma does not go out that often especially at night. Even though her apartment is close to the city’s biggest river which has a beautiful view as trees grow exuberantly along the sidewalk. She has been avoiding going out unless for necessary grocery shopping because of her severe vision loss which is common in aging people. While walking on the street in day time, grandma needs a cane to try on stairs before she steps out. In the evening, she cannot go out without a company.
Living alone for seniors is challenging, however it is the fact that they have to give up on things they used to enjoy upsets them more. Grandma always looks forward to seeing us. Right now when my mother and uncle almost visit her everyday she still looks for a “livelier” atmosphere at home. “It was better when I could watch TV or even better reading. I can enjoy myself doing things I like so I would not always want to have someone to talk to.”
She used to teach biology at a high school. Reading has played a crucial part in her entire life as she thinks this is the best way of catching up to the newest knowledge. Early in her retirement, grandma has also been a fan of knitting. Many of my socks and sweaters were made by her while I was little. Because of vision loss, grandma has all given up on her hobbies.
Not until one day I received an interview call from a company called Zoomax that I realized that there was an existence of a certain type of electronic device that could solve my grandma’s problem. The device is called video magnifier. It may look a bit like an iPad but it is a whole different thing. The video magnifier allows my grandma to start reading again.
The device has stands. As simple as putting the reading materials under the device and turn it on then the device would magnify the words caught by camera and present them on the screen. I noticed there are small ones that can be held by hands, and bigger ones look like computers. Grandma prefers smaller ones because she thinks these are more portable. My family is happy that grandma now is able to read again. She now can have her morning with newspapers.
Photos and videos from Zoomax may be helpful to you to understand what a video magnifier is and how it works. This is a new type of device that I feel more people should know. May be your family members would be helped too.