Abstract

Although more therapists are responding to the increasing need for visual rehabilitation services for older adults, little is reported in the literature about the emotional experience of vision loss, especially in the words of persons with low vision themselves. This paper reports findings from a qualitative inquiry involving focus groups and in-depth interviews with 15 older adults using or considering using low vision assistive devices (Copolillo & Teitelman, 2005). Although the study’s original intent was to focus primarily on decisions about LVAD use, psychological and social implications of vision loss emerged spontaneously as a dominant area of concern for participants. From an analysis of 154 codes derived from transcripted data, three themes related to psychosocial experience were generated: (a) Emotional Challenges, (b) Negative Emotional Outcomes, and (c) Indicators of Emotional Adaptation. In this article, individual components of the themes are described using illustrative quotes, and potential practice implications for therapists are presented.

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