As I get ready to get in the car for today’s appointments, I thought I would take this rainy morning to remind everyone of iKan-RCIL.  iKan-RCIL is a program for those who are 55 years and older and have a vision loss caused by such conditions as Glaucoma, Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy, and many more.  This program is often referred to as the “older blind program”.   The person does not have to be totally or “legally” blind but the condition causing the vision loss must affect their daily living to qualify for services.  The iKan-RCIL program covers 32 counties which are listed below and if you are interested in a county not listed email Amanda Smith and I’ll get you the contact information. iKan-RCIL coverage includes: Allen, Anderson, Bourbon, Brown, Chase, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Clay, Coffey, Crawford, Dickinson, Doniphan, Elk, Geary, Greenwood, Jackson, Labette, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, Montgomery, Morris, Nemaha, Neosho, Osage, Pottawatomie, Riley, Shawnee, Wabaunsee, Washington, Wilson, and Woodson counties.

I visit individuals at their home and teach them skills or give them technology to live as independently as possible with their vision loss.  To qualify for this service you must live in one of the mentioned counties, be 55 years or older and have a vision loss. There is no cost to participate in this program and if you or someone you know is interested they can email Amanda Smith or call at (785) 528-3105.

marked seasoningsSo many things we do on a day to day basis we do using our sight.  So what do you do when your sight no longer helps with those daily activities?

Recently, I was working with a 90 year old woman who has been married to a farmer for 70 years.  She loved cooking and that was how she remembered spending most of those 70 years; cooking for her husband and hired hands after their long days on the farm.  As she has gotten older her eye sight has faded due to Age-Related Macular Degeneration (just like 1 out of every 3 people who are 65 years and older).  Cooking is more difficult for her but not impossible.

A person with vision loss will need added time to get tasks such as cooking done, more lighting (most likely), possibly aids such as magnifiers or talking device, and patients to accomplish daily living activities.  I tell the people I work with (55 years and older who are blind or have low vision) there is only one thing you can’t do because of your vision loss, and that is driving! {Which they are working on!}  Everything else you can do but it might take more time and it more than likely will take a new way of doing it.  That’s where my job comes in, to teach those new ways.

The photo I’ve added to this blog is one of many examples of how a small adaption can help in a big way to accomplish daily living tasks.  The lady I spoke of earlier wants to still cook her favorite dishes for her husband and by marking her seasonings with puff paint and marker she can still flavor dishes as before.  Adaptions can be low tech and cheap such as puff paint or can be high tech and more costly like a digital recording system.  Adaptions can be bump dots on appliance buttons, rubber bands around shampoo bottles, and much more.  If you have questions regarding how to make an item in your house easier to find/use please contact me at (785) 528-3105 or Amanda.smith@rcilinc.org .