Sunday, 14 April 2024
Sunday, 14 April 2024

New support for unpaid carers in Fife thanks to local sight loss charity

A Fife charity is providing new support for people across the region who are looking after someone with sight loss.

Seescape has joined forces with Fife Carers Community Chest to provide training and support to unpaid carers about eye conditions, help with overcoming some of the challenges associated with low vision and access to further support that is available for people with sight loss.

Seescape, formerly Fife Society for the Blind, supports people across Fife with sight loss, supporting more than 2,500 people every year.

The charity will run a series of information and guided walk training sessions in Fife communities aimed at anyone who cares for someone with sight loss. The free sessions will provide key insights into different eye conditions, how they impact on daily life and what they do to someone’s vision and mobility. Sessions will also include practical guidance such as information on gadgets, assistive technology and support available through Seescape and partner organisations and Guide Assist Training to equip unpaid carers with the skills to guide visually impaired adults safely, confidently and with empathy.

Sessions will run in Dunfermline, Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy, Leven, Cowdenbeath, Inverkeithing and Cupar. For further details or inquiries, contact or call 01592 644 979. Seescape helps those with sight loss live more independently and provides a range of services including rehabilitation, advice, and technology demonstrations.

It also offers social opportunities to those with visual impairments across Fife, as well as community-based assessments, home visits, and drop-ins at its visual impairment hub in Glenrothes to give information on the latest support and technologies available.

Among those supported by the charity are Stewart Dargie and his wife Lynda, who has been caring for her husband since he lost his sight in the 1990s. Stewart lost his sight gradually due to a hereditary condition and had to stop working.

Seescape’s support for Stewart and Lynda, who live in Kirkcaldy, is helping them enjoy their lives more. The charity recently helped Stewart with a long cane, teaching him to use it to safely navigate the streets, meaning he can move around more independently.

Lynda, 66, who works at the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy, said:

“Being a carer for my husband is very hard. I’m always having to do things for him as he can’t do a lot for himself. If he needs something I have to drop everything and go and need eyes in the back of my head. I can’t ever switch off.

“I’m still working and going to work gives me a bit of a break, but I do worry about him.

“Losing his sight has been difficult for Stewart. He worked as a plant operator but had to give that up. He spends a lot of time in the house and gets quite fed up.”

“What a big difference the stick made for me. It means I don’t have to watch him or tell him where there are bumps on the pavement or things in his way, and he can get about on his own more.”

Lesley Carcary, chief executive of Seescape, said:

“Our work to support people across Fife with sight loss means we know just how hard it can be to adjust – not just for person who is visually impaired, but for the people who look after them every day.

“We already work hard to make sure families have the right support in place to help them live their lives to the full – but we are thrilled to be working with Fife Carers Community Chest to bring additional advice and support to unpaid carers who are looking after loved ones.

“If you need support or would like more information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.”

Seecape is holding open days for people to find out more about services and support for people with sight loss.

The open days will showcase the support and services on offer, including rehabilitation, advice, technology demonstrations and social opportunities. Seescape will also highlight their community-based assessments, home visits, and drop-ins.

The open day is a chance for new clients to find out about and try out support aids to help them remain independent and learn about other support services available for people affected by sight loss.

An event in Dunfermline is on Thursday, June 13 at Carnegie Hall between 10am and 1pm.


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