Vision services at Guide Dogs aim to assist people with vision loss who have experienced recent falls or are at risk of falling.
Vision services programs focus on reducing the vision-related risk factors that can contribute to falls. Referrals can be made by anyone, as long as consent is sought from the person being referred.
Low Vision Assessment
A comprehensive Vision Assessment identifies people at risk of falls due to specific vision conditions.
The Vision Assessment will include areas such as visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, visual fields and depth perception and the link to falls.
Education about vision conditions and risk factors for falling will be discussed, with referrals made to eye health care professionals, Ophthalmologists or Optometrists when required.
A vision specific Home Safety Assessment will be completed by an Occupational Therapist.
Information gained from the Vision Assessment will be linked to how this may impact on the person's daily function.
Recommendations will be given related to home modifications, equipment, improvements to contrast and lighting, along with aids and strategies that can assist to maximise the use of remaining vision, minimise falls risks and increase safety within the home environment.
Referrals will be made to appropriate service providers such as physiotherapy services, exercise and balance classes.
Orientation and Mobility Assessment and Training
This may be conducted in the home and community environment to help maintain independence by engaging in normal routines such as shopping, socialisation, recreation, attending appointments and visiting friends and family.
This may include:
- maximising the use of remaining vision
- assisting with road safety including crossing roads
- skills for orientation
- using public transport (bus, tram, trains and air travel)
- prescribing and training in mobility devices such as white canes
- safely negotiating steps, stairs and kerbs
- establishing safe and familiar routes of travel
- confidence building.
Our Falls Prevention program enables people living with vision loss in Adelaide to access specialist Orientation and Mobility services to help manage their risk of falls. For more information, please contact Your Support Line on 1800 757 738.