Service user Irene Martin, 87, from Glasgow, attended a Low Vision Clinic where she met with a patient support worker from Visibility Scotland.
Irene is registered sight impaired due to multiple eye conditions (glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts) and is very hard of hearing. Although she had been in contact with her low vision clinic and her local authority visual impairment team in the past, she managed to speak to a patient support worker at her appointment. The patient support worker was able to identify various needs at her visit since her husband had passed away and she now lives on her own.
She was signposted to various services such as the local authority hearing impairment team to enable her to hear her doorbell and conversation on the telephone. Other options of devices to listen to her audiobooks were discussed such as a smaller USB player or downloading the books onto her iPad.
“I found the two ladies (at Hawkhead) most helpful. My family are down in Wales and the South of England, so it was so nice to hear that there is so much help available. My appointment was more helpful than any hospital appointment I’ve ever attended. I actually told my daughter that night when she phoned what a difference it had been to my previous appointment at the hospital, you were both so nice, it was well worth the visit and I really appreciate it”.
The combined loss of both sight and hearing is particularly difficult so Irene was considering paying for new hearing aids privately, but she is not in receipt of attendance allowance which would help with the cost of such aids. She’d been put off applying for this due to previous difficulties applying for benefits, so she was thrilled to hear about Deafblind Scotland’s Welfare Rights project, where she was referred to, who assisted her in completing application forms.
When speaking with Irene a few weeks later, she said “You told me so much that I didn’t even know existed”.
Posted on the: March 29, 2021