The supports that we provide may be needed more than ever in these uncertain and challenging times. Our support team is working hard and we intend to maintain our support for people living with sight loss, and their families.
As the situation regarding Covid-19 changes regularly, information is vital and we are working to ensure people living with sight loss are kept informed and have access to help.
We’ve compiled a list of how we can continue to help you during this time. We’re also routinely providing resources across our social media channels:
We recommend patients check with their eye doctor or their clinic directly to confirm if there will be any changes to appointments, now or in the future. If you notice any significant changes in your vision contact your ophthalmologist immediately. Information on the steps taken by the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Clinic can be found on their website. Updates from the Mater Hospital Dublin can be found on their website.
Our telephone line and email inbox are monitored during our working hours of 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Become a Emotional Support Vision Champion! As an Emotional Support Vision Champion, you can help someone come to terms with the impact of sight loss.
Champions are able to empathise with a person experiencing sight loss and have an understanding of their emotions. They also have knowledge of the services available to people affected by sight loss, and can provide support and information.
The ‘Emotional Support Vision Champions’ course is for people working with or supporting those affected by sight loss including:
This free, short online course is designed to be completed in 80 minutes and certification is provided.
Although we have ceased all face-to-face services, we have always offered confidential telephone counselling as an alternative option.
If you have any questions relating to our Insight Counselling and Support Service, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01 674 6496. Our Support Service and Insight Counselling team are monitoring our phones and emails through working remotely. We will try to respond as quickly as possible.
To combat isolation during this difficult time, we’ve established a virtual coffee morning. The Connections Coffee Morning is for those who wish to spend an hour and a half meeting individuals online, having a coffee/tea from their home, connecting with others and having the opportunity to just chat.
Please contact our support team on 01 674 6496 or email@example.com if you’d like to register to attend.
In addition to individual services, we offer peer support groups for people with a visual impairment to share their feelings and experiences with others facing the same challenges.
These support groups are now meeting regularly online. If you’re interested in taking part online, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01 674 6496.
If you have any concerns or questions about the technology involved, our team will talk you through the process of joining.
We recognise that partners and spouses are often faced with particular challenges in supporting their loved ones who are living with sight loss. You may have feelings of sadness, anger or anxiety relating to your situation and this can affect you and your family on a regular basis. During these times, many people find it useful to talk through their feelings with someone outside their usual circle of family and friends, and often by meeting with others who have faced similar difficulties, vital support can be found.
Our existing group currently meets once a month and is welcoming new members. If you think this may be of interest to you or to your partner/spouse, please contact us on email@example.com or call 01 674 6496.
The Technology Exchange Club is now meeting online. The Club is an informal gathering of people living with sight loss who wish to improve their daily lives through assistive technology. This support has become particularly relevant in recent times.
If you would like to take part, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01 674 6496 and we’ll talk you through the process of joining.
If you are interested in or are already practicing mindfulness in your daily routine you can join our Mindfulness group online every Wednesday from 11am to 12 noon. If you would like to take part, email email@example.com call 01 674 6496.
St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services compiled a useful list of national organisations that can provide specific support at this time, as well as a number of helpful articles on managing your emotional health.
As we all become increasingly aware of the steps to take to remain in good physical health, it is important to remember to mind our mental health too. As most face to face options for support are now temporarily on hold, please see the following list compiled by the HSE for online support for a range of emotional and mental health issues.
Seniorline is a national confidential listening service for older people provided by trained older volunteers. Their lines are open every day from 10am to 10pm, 365 days a year. Seniorline remains open when many statutory services are closed and is recognised as a primary health care service helping to support older people in their community. Call freephone 1800 80 45 91 or visit the Third Age Ireland website.
ALONE have announced a national support line and additional supports and outreach for older people. Contact ALONE on 0818 222 024 if you have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of an older person you know. Further information can be found on the ALONE website.