Nursing Publications

Title

Struggling to Maintain Occupation While Dealing With Risk: The Experiences of Older Adults With Low Vision

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Spring 2010

Journal

OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health

Volume

30

Issue

2

First Page

87

Last Page

96

URL with Digital Object Identifier

http://dx.doi.org/10.3928/15394492-20100325-04

Abstract

The primary aim of this descriptive phenomenological study was to describe the core aspects of living with low vision in later life among older adults (aged 70 years and older) who had not accessed rehabilitation services for low vision. Thirty-four older adults from urban and rural areas participated in a semi-structured qualitative interview and a telephone follow-up. Drawing on an occupational science perspective and using Giorgi and Giorgi’s (2003) method of analysis, the essence of the experience of living with low vision was identified as struggling to maintain valued and necessary occupations while dealing with risk. Additional themes included enhanced sense of risk, striving for independence, and shrinking physical and social life spaces. Findings are interpreted in relation to occupational adaptation and environmental influences on occupation, and implications for the role of occupational therapists are discussed.