Everyday Challenges for Individuals Aging with Vision Impairment: Technology Implications

Elena T Remillard, Lyndsie M Koon, Tracy L Mitzner, Wendy A Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There are growing numbers of older adults with long-term vision impairment who are likely to experience everyday activity challenges from their impairment in conjunction with age-related changes. Technology has potential to support activity engagement. To develop effective technologies and interventions, we need to understand the context of activity challenges and identify unmeet support needs.The Aging Concerns, Challenges, and Everyday Solution Strategies (ACCESS) study is a mixed-method approach to explore everyday challenges of people aging with long-term disabilities. Participants included 60 adults aging with long-term vision impairment (63\ M age=67, SD=4.6) who completed in-depth, structured interviews exploring the nature of everyday challenges and their unmet support needs for activity engagement. We conducted a content analysis using a deductive and inductive approach to build a detailed coding scheme of challenge codes and subcodes.The analyses provided detailed insights about the nature of challenges people aging with vision impairment experience when performing specific instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) in the context of home maintenance, transportation, shopping/finance, and managing health. Vision-related challenges and participation restrictions were identified for several activities that require reading, navigation, and identification (e.g., shopping, medication management, public transportation). Emergent challenge themes for performing IADLs included personal limitations (e.g., physical, cognitive, financial) and environmental barriers (e.g., accessibility, technology, transportation).Contextual examples of IADL challenges among individuals aging with vision impairment highlight opportunities for technology design and innovation to support participation in everyday activities.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbergnad169
JournalThe Gerontologist
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - Dec 20 2023

Keywords

  • blind
  • community participation
  • instrumental activities of daily living
  • aging with disability
  • low vision

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