Supporting someone with AMD
People living with AMD may need a significant amount of support to help them with their daily lives, as tasks that we can take for granted become more difficult as the condition progresses. Partners and adult children are most likely to be providing this support, and knowing how to help can be difficult. Below are a few things to keep in mind when supporting someone with AMD.
Talk about it
Talk to your loved one about their condition and how they are feeling. Discuss important questions to ask their ophthalmologist and whether they would like you to go with them to appointments. It can be overwhelming to begin with and having someone there to make notes can be helpful.
Sometimes, when people are losing their sight they experience a condition called Charles Bonnet syndrome, where they have visual hallucinations (see things that aren’t there). This can be very frightening and people affected can be nervous to tell anyone about these hallucinations out of fear of judgement. Bring this up with your loved one in case they have been experiencing this and are frightened or confused about what is going on.
Help your loved one to access support services which will help them to maintain their independence. Their GP, Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO), social services, local support groups and service charities like RNIB and Macular Society may all be able to provide information, resources and support.
Support healthy lifestyle changes
Maintaining a healthy diet, doing regular exercise and quitting smoking are all thought to help slow the progression of AMD, but doing these things alone can be hard. Make it a family effort to live a healthier lifestyle.
Make practical changes
There are lots of devices for people with AMD which can help with daily tasks. Talk to your loves one’s GP or Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO) about how magnifiers, large text resources, screen readers and brighter lighting could help.
Make sure they are safe to drive
Discuss with your loved one and their ophthalmologist if they are safe to continue driving. This is never an easy conversation to have but is very important.
See how sight research can help
Researchers are working all the time to find new treatments for AMD. Have a look at our AMD funded research section to see if there are any new developments which could help your loved one and discuss these with their ophthalmologist.