My dad has macular degeneration and is going blind. As a photographer I’m trying to understand his condition through the use of my camera.
This is part six continuing my series “What do you see Dad?” on macular degeneration. Part one is here Blind and Yet He Can See and you can follow through from there.
I ask dad what aids he has to help him see close-up. Astonishingly (to me) he hasn’t researched what might help him.
But then I realise two things:
- he never transitioned into the technological age
- if he were to find information in books, how could he read it anyway?
“Computers confuse me”, says Dad.
And “who is Mr Google anyway?”, he asks bemused.
He remembers that he does have a magnifying glass, “but it doesn’t help much” he says, not noticing how filthy it is.
A quick wash and he can now use it!
We trial a different type of magnifying aid. It helps with looking at photographs but he doubts it’ll help with reading books – too cumbersome.
As with photography, attention to lighting is important. So we moved his chair closer to the window and discussed the need for a bright LED reading lamp.
I’m in South Africa with my elderly parents for a time, my fourth visit in two years. I meld into their routine and help where I can, always trying to preserve their dignity. Their perception of life is determined by past experience, values and the current ravages of deteriorating health. My lens is recording as respectfully as possible their reality. This is a sub part of a project Plot148, not yet complete.