Community Views: Gifts for People Living With Macular Degeneration
Last updated: June 2022
It can be difficult to know what gifts are thoughtful and useful for people living with macular degeneration (MD). Living with impaired and diminishing vision can impact so much of our daily lives and can make gift-giving challenging.
To find out more about what gifts to give people living with MD, we reached out to community members on the MacularDegeneration.net Facebook page. There, we asked community members to tell us: “What is a holiday gift that would make daily life with macular degeneration easier?”
The gifts listed here respect the unique needs of those with MD, while at the same time they are fun, creative, and practical. Here is what was shared.
Low-vision tech gifts are widely appreciated
When living with MD, everyday tasks like reading the mail, writing, and cooking can be extremely difficult. For this reason, gifts that improve vision are much appreciated by people with MD.
Several community members shared that they favored gifts like closed circuit television (CCTV) and magnifiers to help them complete their tasks. CCTV magnifiers combine a camera, magnifier, and monitor into 1 device. They are versatile tools to help you get back to enjoying life.
“My handheld, lighted magnifier gets used a lot.”“A strong flashlight and a magnifying glass!”“A large, lighted magnifying glass that covers more space on a book.”“My CCTV has allowed me to read my mail again without having to get someone to read it for me.”
Make them feel pampered
Many community members shared that because of their central vision loss, doing ordinary things like cleaning their house has become quite hard. And for some people, applying makeup has become a burden. Having someone else take care of these things can make all the difference and are creative gift ideas!
“A maid.”“My hairdresser does my eyebrows once a month, and I quit wearing any other makeup.”
Driving services can give people with MD freedom
Many people with MD cannot drive because their central vision is compromised. Not being able to drive can take away someone’s feelings of independence and freedom, which can impact their emotional health. A gift certificate to a car service is a creative way to show them you care about them.
“Uber gift certificate.”“A chauffeur.”
Help out with medical treatments
Certain nutritional supplements and medical treatments can help improve MD symptoms. For instance, the Age-Related Eye Disease Studies (AREDS) found that certain vitamins and minerals can help slow the progression of MD. But these vitamins can be costly. Helping out with a loved one’s medical treatments can make a huge difference in their life.1“AREDS vitamins.”“AREDS 2 vitamins twice a day.”
Donate to MD research
“Continued research to find a cure!”“Holding out hope for stem cell therapy someday.”
Thank you to everyone who shared their creative gift ideas for this story. We loved seeing your responses and are grateful to the community for your willingness to share.
Do you find that fear interferes with your ability to regularly go to eye specialist appointments?