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If you have caregiving responsibility for a loved one diagnosed with wet macular degeneration, you understand how challenging it can be to manage the condition along with other mental and physical health issues. This makes your help all the more important, as your loved one navigates all of the factors that contribute to their overall health and wellbeing.

Below are a few considerations and tips to help you support them.

Understand and manage the risk factors.

People living with visual impairment often have other health conditions as well. Many of the risk factors associated with macular degeneration are also associated with other condictions, such as cardiovascular disease (CVD)1. Discuss risk factors and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle with your loved one and their doctors. You might consider taking walks or cooking nutritious meals together, to help them maintain an appropriate weight. Click here to learn more about staying active with wet macular degeneration.

Man wearing glasses sitting next to a woman and looking at a cookbook together at a kitchen counter with fresh vegtables in a bowl
Stock photo. Posed by model.

 
Prioritize treatment appointments and doctors’ direction
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If your loved one living with wet macular degeneration also has another medical condition, for example high blood pressure, encourage them to follow their doctor’s directions for controlling the condition. It’s important to keep up with scheduled doctor appointments and medications as prescribed, to maintain overall health.

Keep doctors updated.

You can help by keeping track of existing health issues and providing a full written medical history to their doctors. Making sure their eye doctors and primary care doctors have complete and up-to-date information about their medical conditions will help properly manage treatment and care.

Focus on being positive.

Help your loved one look for alternatives that allow them to continue exploring their interests, to prevent inactivity and isolation. You might also consider meditating or doing breathing exercises together to help them stay calm. If your loved one is feeling overwhelmed, encourage them to talk to a doctor about managing depression and anxiety or help them connect with a patient association in your community. Try to do your own research if you have general questions or concerns about wet macular degeneration, to take some of the burden off of your loved one to explain the condition.

As you help your loved one to manage their health, don’t forget to prioritize your wellbeing as well. Click here to learn about caring for yourself while caring for others.

 

 

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References

  1. Pennington, KL, DeAngelis, MM. Epidemiology of age-related macular degeneration (AMD): associations with cardiovascular disease phenotypes and lipid factors. Eye and Vis. 2016;3(34).
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