Wisdom from our elders
Macular degeneration challenges Mom but she’s determined
Dear GrandPad: My mom is a savvy, active 83-year-old who was a voracious reader. Unfortunately, she developed age-related macular degeneration several years ago that has now progressed from the most common dry type to the more serious wet type. Mom doesn’t drive, but she enjoys walking around her neighborhood where she has a condominium. Her doctor says that she’ll be fine living alone for now, though eventually she’ll need assistance. We’re making long-term plans, and we’d like to know how we can help her live the best life she can have. – TL
Dear TL: Your mom sounds like an admirable woman who will continue to look for productive ways to deal with her challenges.
As you noted, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) can be progressive and sometimes develops into the more serious wet form. Treatment can slow potential damage. People rarely lose all their sight from AMD so even as the disease advances, your mom will be able to see things outside of her direct sightline. This means she can continue to enjoy many of her customary activities if in a slightly altered way. If neither of you has investigated the national and state services available for the blind, we’d advise doing so.
How can we help? We’d love for you both to discover how a GrandPad could improve your mom's life. With this tablet, she can use the provided access to the Internet without worrying about missing a warning that she may be trying to connect to an unsafe site. By using the family admin tools, you can work together to connect to the sites she enjoys and finds useful.
With a GrandPad the text is large and clear with high-contrast black on white that’s backed by ample light. Each icon is a unique color and includes the identifying word, as well. Colors are also high-contrast, and icons are positional, so that they are always in the same place providing predictable navigation. Users can turn on the sound to get feedback when they touch their icon or use the arrows to move the screen.
The GrandPad is large enough for people to easily see what’s on their screen, but small enough to hold at the perfect angle to aid their unique sight challenges. This makes word searches, bingo, card games, and crosswords accessible to people like your mom who can only see peripherally.
She can also download large print books from the Internet or listen to classics via her safe access to YouTube.
And music! There are so many choices of eras and genres that your mom’s sure to find music she’ll love.
With the tools app, she’ll find an excellent magnifier, a super-bright flashlight, and a large-buttoned calculator. Email is done by voice so she can communicate with her friends without straining her eyes.
GrandPad’s mission is to help people live their lives well and we're certain that the tablet will do that for your mom. We’d love to hear how it works for her and always welcome suggestions.