Asking For Help

Asking For Help

Posted on Aug.13, 2015, under Inspirational Stories, Living With Low Vision, Low Vision Info

On a recent visit with my father-in-law who has wet macular degeneration, my husband noticed that when my father-in-law was out in the stores, at the bank or the doctor’s office he struggled with signing forms, entering a zip code into the credit card machine or understanding a price tag.

My husband was with him and so he could help him, but there are times and situations when a family member or friend is not there to be of assistance.  So my husband asked him, “Dad, do you ever tell someone that you have problems seeing?”  He responded, “No , I don’t feel comfortable saying that.”  Bill tried to explain to him how helpful it would be to the bank teller, the check-out girl or the receptionist at the doctor’s office to let them know he has trouble filling out a form or reading a screen.

Checking out at a store is no longer a simple swipe of the credit card – the machine asks for a zipcode, if you want your receipt emailed, if you want to donate to a charity and one machine asked if I wanted to start a monthly magazine subscription.   All of these questions are on a tiny electronic screen with no contrast that even “good eyes” may have trouble reading.  Here is a perfect time, to explain to the store clerk, “I have trouble seeing the screen, can you please help me?”  He/she now has the benefit of understanding the situation and processing the transaction more quickly and the one with low vision can make purchases with less struggle and frustration.

Peggy Wolfe, the author of Vision Loss: Strategies for Living with Hope and Independence, has been living with vision loss due to macular degeneration for 13 years.  She shares some insight on asking for help.  She writes:

“Open your heart and your mind to the prospect of reaping great rewards by accepting help.  This can be a difficult adjustment to make.  Needing others can make you feel powerless, but you maintain independence by being the one who chooses if and when to seek or accept that help.”

Asking for help is not limited to times when one is out in public.  Asking for help from family, friends and neighbors can be an adjustment as your vision deteriorates.  Let them know about your vision loss and that it is difficult for you to ask for assistance.   However it is up to you to let others know what you need.  Be specific about what is helpful to you and then accept their assistance graciously and with gratitude.   Get more tips from Peggy by visiting:

Useful Tips for Living with Visio Loss


Leslie Degner, RN, BSN