One of the most important facets about our line of work is spreading awareness that providing care to a family member isn’t just about providing care to the elderly. When you have a child who is diagnosed with a condition that may last for the rest of their life, or you have a loved one who is more dependent on you than a traditional sibling, spouse, or parent, it can be a challenging experience. There are many different reasons that one person may become dependent on another, and it is our job to shine a light on those situations and provide as much help as possible. This month is National Braille Literacy month, so we wanted to bring awareness to those caregivers who spend time caring for someone who is blind or vision impaired.
What is National Braille Literacy Month
The founder of the Braille system was born in January, this is why Braille Literacy Month is celebrated each January, during this very special time of the year. The purpose of Braille Literacy Month is not only to honor Braille’s Legacy, but also to provide education to the general public about the importance and advantages of learning Braille. Braille is all around us, and the system hasn’t changed since it was originally created. This amazing form of communication has been incorporated into technological devices, computers, and the digital world so that it can be more accessible and provide our visually impaired loved ones as many advantages of this century as possible. Braille is used by many people, not just those who are blind, it is convenient even for those who have no problems with their sight. For example, did you know that the reason there are bumps on the f and j keys on your keyboard are for the visually impaired? If you line up your index fingers on these keys, they automatically place your hands on the home row of your keyboard.
How Braille Can Be Beneficial
It is important to mention here, again, that there are many people who lose their eyesight when they are younger. Caregivers may spend years providing care to someone with a vision impairment, which means that spending time helping them become more independent with the use of braille can only help.
There are more that 4.2 million Americans over the age of 40 who are either legally blind or have low vision. The leading causes of blindness are macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma. Other common eye disorders that may occur include amblyopia and strabismus. These numbers don’t include the vast number of individuals who suffer from injuries that can lead to diminished vision or blindness such as detached retinas.
Some individuals lose their sight over time, and are able to control their conditions with surgery, pressure drops, and other therapies. Unfortunately, even stress can cause someone to have diminished sight during certain circumstances, and progressive conditions can unexpectedly leave people in a place where they need extra help. The earlier that you can help someone prepare, the easier the transition will be. If you learn braille while you still have vision, then when the day comes that you start losing your sight, you have less to fear, because you have the skills you need to function and live your life!
Ways to Use Braille While You’re Learning
As we mentioned previously, there are many benefits to learning braille well before you have any vision problems. If you have a loved one who has been diagnosed with a condition that may one day leave them without their vision, then you can start learning and using braille with them now. Learning with a loved one improves the chances of success, and it can be more rewarding! You can use a braille label maker to start labelling almost everything in your home and car, or even at work, which helps you reinforce what you may be learning as you read books, make notes, and navigate movie theatres. You can put labels on everything, from remotes to silverware, drawers, tables, things in the fridge, and even everything in your medicine cabinet.
National Braille Literacy Month is a reason to celebrate those who provide care for those who are blind or visually impaired. If you still feel like you need more ideas, don’t forget that Homewatch CareGivers of Annapolis is here for you. It is always a privilege to provide our clients and community with compassionate and professional assistance. Don’t hesitate to contact us today if you have more questions or keep browsing our website for more information.