Oftentimes when we write blogs and accumulate information for caregivers in our community, we try to spread the message that caregiving isn’t just about the elderly. There are many different reasons that one person may be dependent on another, and since this month is National Braille Literacy month, 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
Every January, we celebrate National Braille Literacy Month, the founder, Louis Braille’s birthday was in January which is why it is celebrated during this time of the year. Aside from honoring Braille’s legacy, the goal during the month is to educate people about the importance and advantages of learning Braille. The system is advantageous for people who suffer from a number of different vision problems, and has remained unchanged since it was originally created. Braille has even been incorporated into computers, digital devices, and technology, making it more accessible and relevant to our world as we know it. 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
If you provide care to someone who has some kind of progressive vision loss, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, or another condition, then teaching them braille while they can still see is extremely helpful. There is nothing more disorienting than having to learn a new way of communicating, navigating, and finding your way in this world when you can’t read anything, let alone see.
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.
Even if you have a loved one who isn’t expected to lose all of their sight at once, and their condition is controlled with pressure drops and surgeries, doesn’t mean that a stressful day or a progressive condition can’t one day leave them 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
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. Doing it together will only make it more successful and fun! Here are a few ways that you can use braille in your daily life that will help you reinforce your braille lessons:
- Labeling household items
- Making notes
- Putting it on EVERYTHING – Remotes, silverware, drawers, tables, things in the fridge, and things in the 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 Ellicott City 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.