Vision loss can happen for a variety of reasons. Health problems such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy can all lead to partial or total vision loss. Of course, vision loss can also be the result of accidents or injuries. Regardless of the cause of vision loss, it can be tough to make the transition to living independently while vision impaired when you are older.
For the Veteran, the loss of freedom that can come along with vision loss can be particularly devastating. According to the Veteran’s Administration, there are about 130,000 Veterans in the United States who are considered legally blind, while more than a million experience low vision which affects their ability to perform some daily activities. While the Veterans Affairs operates 13 Centers across the United States that are designed to help Veterans adjust to blindness, there are many other programs available that can aid the veteran with some or total vision loss.
Programs to Aid Blind Veterans
Some blind associations have programs in place to help the Veteran negotiate the Veterans Affairs claims process. The steps can be challenging for individuals unfamiliar with the process, even when they are fully qualified for benefits. Peer support is another program offered to blind Veterans. Having other blind Veterans, who have experienced what you are going through, to help you learn to engage in life, whether through fishing or running a marathon, can be valuable for the newly blind Veteran.
Associations that help blind Veterans often provide monetary help in the form of scholarships or other awards to dependent offspring of the affected Veteran. Blind associations can be a valuable asset to the blind Veteran and their family. In addition to providing valuable resources of their own, they can help navigate state and federal bureaucracies to access other programs that are available but not widely known.