Stacy Smallfield, Jennifer Kaldenberg; Occupational Therapy Interventions for Older Adults With Low Vision. Am J Occup Ther 2020;74(2):7402390010. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2020.742004
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© 2020 American Occupational Therapy Association
Evidence Connection articles provide clinical application of systematic reviews developed in conjunction with the American Occupational Therapy Association’s (AOTA’s) Evidence-Based Practice Project. Findings from the systematic review of occupational therapy for older adults with low vision were published in the January/February 2020 issue of the American Journal of Occupational Therapy (AJOT) and in AOTA’s Occupational Therapy Practice Guidelines for Older Adults With Low Vision, published in the March/April 2020 issue of AJOT. In this article, we describe a case report of an older adult with low vision who was referred to outpatient occupational therapy services because of a recent progression of her age-related macular degeneration that led to a decline in functional independence. Each article in the Evidence Connection series summarizes the evidence from the published reviews on a given topic and presents an application of the evidence to a related clinical case. These articles illustrate how the research evidence from the reviews can be used to inform and guide clinical decision making.
Mary is independent in eating, grooming, showering, dressing, and household mobility.
Mary’s functional vision limits her ability to read food labels, recipes, and cooking instructions and to manage medications. It also limits her ability to look at photos of her grandchildren that her children send electronically.
Her visual impairment limits her ability to socialize with friends and family. She no longer attends religious services, because she struggles to recognize people’s faces and read the hymnal. Mary cannot drive anymore and relies on friends, family, or ride sharing to access the community.
Mary enjoys visiting with friends and family in her home, especially her grandchildren. She uses a tablet computer to stay in contact with family members who do not live locally and to access ride-sharing services.
Mary was trained as a nurse but stopped working outside the home when she and her husband had children. Before her recent visual decline, Mary volunteered as a Sunday school teacher and at her local hospital.
Mary describes her home as being very dark with limited overhead lighting. The home has few windows.
Previous performance patterns included sleeping late, preparing and eating a light brunch, volunteering at the hospital three afternoons each week, and baking cookies for her grandchildren. She video calls her family most evenings.
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