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Journal of the Nigerian Optometric Association

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Rehabilitation for Independent Living: Challenges and Priorities of Visually Impaired Older People in Urban Nigeria Corresponding Author:

P. E. Okonji, D. C. Ogwezzy

Abstract


The specific objectives of this study is to determine aspects of self-reliance in daily life activties that are most challenging for adults with vision impairment and to determine what areas of rehabilitation should be the keystone of low vision care and/or rehabilitation for this group. Participants were recruited from Lagos and Delta state, Nigeria. A total of 128 visually impaired older adults aged 60 years and over took part in the study. A survey method; using questionnaires was employed in order to get data from respondents. Participants Visual Acuities were measured and using the Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) scale, participants responded to questions on daily living tasks they considered as challenging. The relation between self-reliance in daily tasks and years of vision impairment proved the presence of relationship in some activities such as being able to use the telephone (χ2=0.66, p=0.7196), being able to plan, prepare and serve meals without help (χ2=4.13, p≤0.1271), and doing laundry without help (χ2=2.31, p=0.3155). Other activities did not show such correlation. The results revealed that, with increasing years of visual impairment, participants were more likely to report that indoor tasks (such as doing laundry, doing household chores, and using the telephone) were easier than outdoor tasks (such as shopping, spending money independently, and travelling independently). The study concludes that rehabilitation for outdoor activities should be keystone of low vision care. Implications of this study for social inclusion of this group and for successful adjustment to difficulties posed by vision impairment are discussed.

Keywords: independence, vision, daily-living, impairment, rehabilitation




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