Local lifestyle columnists

Lots of devices to help folks with low vision

By From page B8 | February 22, 2014

Almost every day I walk to the McDonald’s at Sunset Shopping Center. I have a cup of senior coffee and walk back home.

Yesterday, the senior coffee group was assembled. I counted at least 10 people.

“Hi, Murray” was the greeting.

It is really good for my self-esteem (ego) to feel accepted by my senior peers. A really neat thing is that people are relaxed and share and compare their life experiences. It’s like being with old friends. We talk about our ailments, cars, car repairs and family. Sometimes it surprises me to find out how much old folks have in common. Some of the things we talked about deserve to be passed on.

Bonnie Damuth counsels low-vision folks, which is a problem I have. She has macular degeneration. She made it a point to sit by me and talk about the work she does with the Low Vision Support Group that meets at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church at 1600 Union Ave. in Fairfield. She counsels folks at various locations, including Paradise Valley Estates.

Bonnie, like me, is a pre-baby boomer senior, but she is still actively out there helping others. She asked me if I could get the Daily Republic to “cover” a low-vision information meeting scheduled for 2 p.m. March 10 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. I told her I would do what I could. Even though I have a reading machine, I plan to go myself to see what the new machines are like.

Bonnie showed me a pocket purse-size electronic magnifier that was very good. I was able to read my cash register receipt with it. Bonnie reads menus that I am unable to read with my six-power reading glasses.

The March 10 program will be put on by A & E Low Vision Products. A & E services the Department of Defense and other large organizations, as well.

The electronics industry has produced some really remarkable products. It has made life easier and more secure for folks who have lost some of their capabilities, like me.

In a related matter, I am concerned about becoming disabled while alone. So, I have an agreement with a medical alert company. I have a monitor in my home. It is somewhat reassuring.

My son told me about a telephone with an emergency button on it. It would give me protection both at home and away. I checked it out. The program was a feature on a relatively inexpensive telephone from the Consumer Cellular company. The cost is $60 with no added costs other than the regular monthly costs for calling. I can wear it around my neck just like the medical alert. I’ll save about $300 a year and have better protection. It may not work for everyone, but it will work for me.

Don’t forget, join me at the Low Vision Support Group at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and see the wonderful world of electronic vision support devices.

Reach Murray Bass at 427-0744 or [email protected]

Murray Bass


Discussion | 1 comment

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  • P.J.February 22, 2014 - 10:02 am

    Bonnie is a sweetheart of a lady! We used to play a dice game called "bunko" together. Bonnie would roll the dice and someone would say..."roll again, Bonnie", or "that's it, Bonnie". She couldn't see the dots on the dice, but her good nature made her a welcomed member.

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