Custom Hand Control for Visual Impairments
Ambassador recliner chairs and custom hand control for visual impairments are available. Visual deficits due to disorder or the natural ageing process can restrict function for many older adults. Ambassador offers ergonomic and adaptive ways, such as the custom hand control for visual impairments, around visual limitations so that users can still fully benefit from their recliner chairs.
Common Visual Impairments
With age comes a wide array of visual problems, possibly from genetic dispositions or some with just time. Three commonly diagnosed conditions.
- Macular degeneration: The leading cause of vision loss, macular degeneration is an incurable condition that causes the central part (called the macula) of the retina to deteriorate. The retina is the posterior layer of the eye that picks up images that get sent to the brain via the optic nerve. The macula is what is responsible for focusing central vision through the eye, and damage to it means that the retina cannot pick up small image details. As the disease progresses, central vision becomes wavy or blurry and can worsen to legal blindness (AMDF, 2021).
- Glaucoma: Glaucoma is an umbrella term for several types of visual disturbances, and this group is the second leading cause of blindness. Damage to the optic nerve causes irreversible vision loss. Some types of glaucoma, if caught early enough, can be treated to slow the symptoms down (Glaucoma Research Foundation, 2021).
- Cataracts: Cataracts are a gradual clouding of the lenses of the eyes, which can make images appear blurry, less vibrant in colour, and less detailed. Cataracts can be a result of normal changes to the eye but can also be caused by disease and injury. These days, cataracts surgery has become widely available to reverse the symptoms (National Eye Institute, 2021).
How Visual Impairments impact hand coordination
Hand-eye coordination is the teamwork between motor and visual functions that help the body perform a functional purpose. Picking up the phone to dial a number, catching and throwing a ball, washing the dishes, etc. Visual disturbances, ranging from mild blurriness to complete blindness, can throw off functional hand-eye coordination. The affected person is no longer able to properly see their hand, where their hand is trying to go, and the object in which the hand is interacting with. This proves especially difficult for activities that require operating items with small buttons and tiny words or numbers.
The Ambassador Custom Hand Control for the Visually Impaired
The Ambassador Custom Hand Control eliminates the need for the user to visually locate buttons and coordinate fine motor movement to operate the chair. Furthermore, there are no required letter or number markers for the user to locate. The control can be operated with an open palm using muscle memory, so all the user must do is push down on specific spots of the control without even having to look at the device. Additionally, the control can stay securely fastened to the side of the chair to take away fears of losing the device.
How to safely operate the chair with visual impairments
Chair users and their caregivers should still heed typical precautions for visual impairments when operating the chair. When learning how to first use the custom hand control, especially if the user is blind, make sure the caregiver is around as a guide so he/she can operate the chair independently without any repositioning hiccups.
Visual impairments can greatly change a person’s life and hinder their overall participation. They acknowledge typical and unique limitations that come with age and offer users ways to work around impairments. The custom hand control takes away unessential worry and fear so that their reclining experience is more pleasant.
Cataracts. (2021). NIH: National Eye Institute. https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/cataracts.
What is Glaucoma? (2021). Glaucoma Research Foundation. https://www.glaucoma.org/glaucoma/.
What is Macular Degeneration? (2021). American Macular Degeneration Foundation. https://www.macular.org/what-macular-degeneration.