SPD Provides Home Therapy for Seniors with Low Vision | SPD - Singapore

SPD Provides Home Therapy for Seniors with Low Vision

08/06/2018

SPD has started providing home therapy for seniors with low vision under the Senior Eye Rehabilitation (SEER) Programme since January this year.

SEER is a one-year pilot programme initiated by the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) to build community capability. Two occupational therapists (OT) from SPD were trained to provide home rehabilitation for seniors with low vision.

"The training included clinic and home-based observational sessions which allows me to understand the transition of client care. I am able to better identify the challenges an elderly faces and to help them in their home environment in the community setting,” said Ong Yu Yuan, one of the OTs who underwent the training.

The programme aims to enable seniors with low vision to function safely and independently in their homes. The OTs may prescribe adaptive equipment, recommend strategies, or modify tasks to optimise the safety and independence of the seniors within his/her home environment.

Using magnifying devices is one of the many ways visual challenges can be overcome.

An elderly in his 70s, who was diagnosed with glaucoma in both eyes resulting in blurred and reduced vision, was one such beneficiary. The OT worked with him to help make his home environment safer. He was taught to organise his belongings and to place frequently used items within reach. He changed his chair to a red one for better contrast as he had almost fell when he missed his chair when sitting down. He was also taught how to send short messages on his mobile phone to his family after the OT adjusted his mobile phone settings.

Placing kitchen items in a neat and orderly manner, coupled with a neat tablecloth help to aid seniors who are visuallly impaired.

Another beneficiary was a client in her 50s who has low vision since birth. She was taught to cook rice in a safer manner to prevent injuries. She was able to clean her house and maintain her home cleanliness with greater efficiency after the home rehabilitation sessions.

This one-year pilot programme ends in December 2018 and is currently open to seniors 50 years and above with best corrected vision of visual acuity less than 6/18 and/or visual field of less than 10 degrees after surgical/medical intervention in the better eye. The home rehabilitation sessions are fully subsidised for seniors of per-capita income $2,600 and below.

Seniors can follow up with NUH, SGH or SNEC by requesting for a referral to the programme through the hospital.