Older adults: Quality of life issues derived from late onset blindness

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Blindness complicates life. Self-reliance is challenged. Functional difficulties and emotional distress emerge. After being sighted for most of life and becoming blind later in life, individuals frequently experience ongoing sorrow related to changes they confront in a life that is now without vision. Driving this chapter are findings excerpted from a qualitative research study I conducted that analyzed a seventy minute audio-taped conversation among nine older adult visually impaired friends while they talked about their blindness and its impact on their quality of life and their health. Six of the nine participants were African-American and Caribbean-American, three of whom were women. Discourse analysis, a qualitative methodological approach, examined the intersection of their discussion and social concepts and resulted in an increased sensitivity to the human experience of blindness. Findings indicated that late onset blindness profoundly impacted the person's total sense of health and well being. Even sexual adequacy was identified as being influenced by blindness. Chronic sorrow was evidenced by ongoing grieving of their losses along with reminiscence about their lives when sighted. Healthcare providers will gain knowledge from this chapter that will enhance the understanding of visually impaired older adults. © 2009 Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Black Women'S Health: Challenges And Opportunities

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