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Common signs that someone is struggling

Studies show that 25-45% of people with low vision experience feelings of isolation and depression*. This can likely impact their ability or willingness to learn and take on new skills.

Though you can never tell how someone’s emotions will present, you might see some of the following in the person you’re caring for.

People may experience shock and anxiety in different ways. Often, someone may seem confused or have difficulty concentrating. For some, it may be more physical symptoms, such as a disturbance to their sleep or a lack of appetite and energy.

Others can withdraw socially and no longer enjoy the activities they previously loved. It may also be difficult for them to find the motivation to enjoy something new.

It’s never nice to feel as though your world is changing, so it’s important to be patient. Any emotions that you or the person you are caring for are experiencing are completely valid.

In our experience, often the most helpful thing you can do to assist someone in managing these emotions is to simply listen without judgement.

What are some other ways you can help?

Real change can’t be made until someone is mentally ready to accept it. Here are some ways you can begin to understand what the person you are caring for is going through and begin the process towards acceptance and openness to receive help.

  • Always make it clear that it’s okay to be feeling a wide range of emotions.
  • You may both have good days or bad days, and it’s okay to talk about them together, or with a professional.
  • Remind them they are not alone and that there is support that exists for them, such as Quality Living and Peer Support Groups where you can connect with people with similar experiences and learn from one another.
  • Show empathy, not sympathy; feel with them, don’t feel for them.
  • Always actively listen and pay attention to what they are saying. Find out how the person you are caring for would like to receive the kind of help they need.
  • Work together to understand what their strengths and weakness are to be able to move forward together as a team. It’s worth researching the wide world of assistive technology that can help you and your loved one immediately. Explore assistive technology options.
  • There are many ways that you can still do the things you love, just differently. From cooking in the kitchen and using makeup, to getting out and about in your community. Explore some examples of how to still do the things you love.

It’s important to remember that they are not the first person to feel like this and that often people feel overwhelmed, and sometimes a sense of panic when faced with a big challenge/change.

How to reach out

If you and the person you are caring for are ready to take the next steps forward, Vision Australia is here to support you in locations across the country. Visit us online today to begin your journey.

If you’re located in Tasmania, you can contact VisAbility on 1800 371 104 or email them at [email protected].

If you’re located in South Australia, you can contact See Differently with the Royal Society for the Blind on 1300 944 306 or email them at [email protected].

If you are in South Australia or Northern Territory, you can contact Guide Dogs on (08) 8203 8333 or email them at [email protected].