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RSB and Resthaven behind new vision screening tools and support program

New vision screening tools have been developed by aged care provider Resthaven in conjunction with the Royal Society for the Blind (RSB), with the aim of improving vision assessment process times as part of the providers new Commonwealth funded program.

New tools and vision support program launched by Resthaven with the support of the RSB (Source: Shutterstock)
New tools and vision support program launched by Resthaven with the support of the RSB (Source: Shutterstock)

The tools will be trialled as part of the newly launched Resthaven: Specialised Support Services - Vision Support which was brought to life after a gap was identified in the area following an internal research project.

Resthaven Executive Manager, Community Services Sue McKechnie says the South Australian specialised vision support services, which will be tailored for each individual to manage their vision loss, maximise their independence and support them to remain living at home, will be aided by the tools that were trialled.

“We are delighted to announce that Resthaven recently received Commonwealth Home Support Programme funding of more than $800,000 to expand a range of our aged care services, including $56,000 to provide specialised support services to people with vision loss,” she says.

“Resthaven conducted an internal research project, consulting with clients with vision loss to determine their specific care preferences, and to gain advice on the way we could improve service delivery to better meet their needs.

“We also invested in specialty training provided by Royal Society for the Blind for our direct care staff, and developed some tools and resources to support staff working alongside people with vision loss, supporting the individual’s choices and increasing their capacity to be as independent as possible.”

Ms McKechnie adds that the tools were developed throughout this six month long project of evidence based research, investigation and consultation with the RSB, and that all staff will be trained to make referrals to optometrists, ophthalmologists, and in providing advocacy and transport.

“Vision impairment and blindness disables eye function, impacting all facets of life, from communication, safety, interpretation of surrounding environments, interpersonal relationships and self-esteem,” she says.

“Our vision support services will support older people, their carers and families to manage vision loss and the services provided depend on the individual’s goals and preferences and complement each person’s abilities.

“The services could include supporting people with tasks around the home that they are unable to do due to their vision loss, assisting people to connect with their community and friends, providing group sessions around falls, balance and mobility, and providing home safety assessment and advice about equipment to support the person to be more independent.”

Resthaven: Specialised Support Services - Vision Support is accessible through a referral from My Aged Care with the focus on providing support services to metropolitan Adelaide, the Fleurieu, Riverland, Murraylands, Limestone Coast and the Adelaide Hills.

The new service is not only available to Resthaven clients with the option for support to be offered to other providers.

To find out more about Resthaven: Specialised Support Services - Vision Support call 1300 136 633.

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