Affecting an incredible number of Americans, vision loss can be as varied as the people who experience it – from simply the need to don a pair of reading glasses to browse through the morning paper, to total blindness. And it’s even more common in older adults, with one in every three elders over age 65 experiencing some form of eye disease that impacts vision, like glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, among others. Thankfully, just like a lot of other challenging conditions, technology continues to explode with options to improve standard of living for seniors with vision loss. Just take a glance at a number of the vision enhancement tools which are now available:
- Be My Eyes. This incredible app links sighted volunteers with people that have low vision or blindness, and literally allows them to see, through the individual’s phone, a variety of immediate needs – such as checking expiration dates of food or confirming that an outfit matches. And, “It’s being used for many amazing things,” according to Alexander Jensen, Be My Eyes’ Community Director. “We received an email from a woman who said she used a Be My Eyes volunteer to check on her wedding gown for any stains before the ceremony started.”
- Seeing AI. A more recently released application, Seeing AI also utilizes a sight-impaired person’s phone, providing identification of an individual to whom the camera is pointed, including recognition of the individual’s facial expressions to pick up on feelings and mood. Additionally, it can scan barcodes to identify items (with an audible alert once the camera is near to a barcode), verify denominations of currency, and a wide variety of other functions, even without an Internet connection.
- RoboCane. This is certainly no ordinary white cane! Furnished with a computer, microphone and 3-D camera, RoboCane can detect obstacles and provide voice prompts to let a user know what’s ahead. It also can guide its user through use of a motorized roller tip once floor plans of a planned route are loaded into its computer, and can also take verbal commands from its user and provide audio feedback through a wireless earphone.
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North River Home Care of Cape Cod can really help improve quality of life for seniors with vision loss through safe, trusted transportation and accompaniment to outings, assistance with household chores and personal care tasks, and much more. Call us today at (781) 659-1366 for a free in-home consultation to find out more!