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

P Okonji, D Ogwezzy, Patrick Okonji
The specific objec�ves of this study is to determine aspects of self-reliance in daily life ac�vi�es that are most challenging for adults with vision impairment and to determine what areas of rehabilita�on should be the keystone of low vision care and/or rehabilita�on for this group. Par�cipants 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 ques�onnaires was employed in
more » ... as employed in order to get data from respondents. Par�cipants Visual Acui�es were measured and using the Lawton Instrumental Ac�vi�es of Daily Living (IADL) scale, par�cipants responded to ques�ons on daily living tasks they considered as challenging. The rela�on between self-reliance in daily tasks and years of vision impairment proved the presence of rela�onship in some ac�vi�es 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 ac�vi�es did not show such correla�on. The results revealed that, with increasing years of visual impairment, par�cipants 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 rehabilita�on for outdoor ac�vi�es should be keystone of low vision care. Implica�ons of this study for social inclusion of this group and for successful adjustment to difficul�es posed by vision impairment are discussed. Abstract Research suggests that visual impairment limits the capacity to perform one or more essen�al ac�vi�es of daily life. 4 Visual impairment in elderly persons decreases Original Research Article Journal of the Nigerian Optometric Association