Resources for Seniors Experiencing Vision Loss…

By Lori Stevens, Certified Concierge Care Advisor

Vision loss among the elderly is a major health care problem. About one-third of seniors develops a vision-reducing eye disease by the age of 65. The most common causes of vision loss among the elderly are age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataract and diabetic retinopathy. The elderly population in the United States is increasing rapidly. By the year 2030, approximately 70 million Americans will be over 65 years of age. Loss of vision among the elderly is becoming much more common….and thankfully, resources and support for this significant problem are expanding and becoming more available.

Today, you do not have to be “blind” to receive or benefit from these resources.  A term now used frequently is “low vision,” which can be very troubling and interfere with life as well.  According to DAVID A. QUILLEN, M.D., Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, low vision can pave the way to even deeper issues, such as depression, inability to remain independent, falls, and general inability to enjoy life and thrive.

Seniors who have declining eyesight should of course be visiting their optometrist and/or ophthalmologist on a regular basis to ensure proper treatment is followed up on and your glassware prescription is up to date.  Some additional things that may be of help:

  • Improve lighting – Try aiming a light at the task you are doing or while reading, or use a flashlight
  • Reduce glare by adjusting lights, or wearing a hat or cap
  • Read large print books
  • Utilize large number/symbol phones and remote control devices
  • Try books on tape or audiobooks
  • Use magnifying mirrors or other type of devises that enlarge print
  • Electronic books such as those on Kindle or Nook, have a font control, enabling you to make larger fonts
  • Use SIRI and or Alexa devices which operate with voice commands

Below are some other resources for low vision, legally blind, or individuals with blindness:

There are also “accessibility departments” for many companies.  You may want to look into those for Apple or Samsung Smartphones, Facebook, and your computer manufacturer.

We are fortunate to have many resources right here in the greater Seattle area.  Here are just a few:

2021 9th Avenue

Seattle, WA 98121-2783

Local Telephone: (206) 615-0400

Toll Free Telephone: (800) 542-0866

TDD/TTY Telephone: (206) 615-0418


Box 357920

Seattle, WA 98195-7920

Local Telephone: (800) 214-8731

TDD/TTY Telephone: (866) 866-0162

Local Fax: (206) 543-4779


13510 NE 188th Place

Woodinville, WA 98072

Local Phone: (888)281-1492


  • The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc.
    2501 South Plum Street
    Seattle, Washington 98144-4711
    Voice: (206) 322-4200 or (800) 914-7307
    Fax: (206) 329-3397