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Seniors find innovative ways to seek assistance

March 5, 2014

As adults grow older, they may find that some of their senses do not work as well as they once did, whether they've had to purchase eyeglasses or hearing aids to help with their daily functioning. These kinds of aids can contribute to a healthy lifestyle for seniors by helping older adults better be able to pay attention to their surroundings. Yet, some people have found more creative ways to compensate for their sensory deficiencies.

Seniors bring note takers to the doctor's office
Understanding every word a doctor says can be hard even with perfect listening skills, so for seniors who may be hard of hearing, it can prove to be even more difficult. However, according to Kaiser Health News, a rising number of seniors has begun to bring note takers with them to the doctor's office. The volunteer does not interfere with the doctor's recommendations - they, similar to court stenographers, merely record the interaction for the patient to review after the appointment. The news source explains that the note taker uses pen and paper to chronicle the main points, then reads them aloud at the end to ensure that they've properly captured the essentials. Vickie Epstein, the program director for Northwest Neighbors, an initiative that connects volunteers with doctor's appointments, told the source that most patients simply appreciate having a second person to hear a medical professional's opinion.

Dame Judi Dench reveals vision problems
Although she may be an Academy Award-winning actress, Dame Judi Dench has publicly discussed her failing eyesight, which has impaired her ability to read her own scripts. Dench told The Hollywood Reporter that she suffers from macular degeneration, a genetic condition that can lead to vision loss. Instead of abstaining from doing the work that she loves, Dench said that she has other people read movie scripts to her, allowing her to practice and memorize her lines without ever having to read them. She added that while she has not been able to perform leisure activities like she used to, she still finds the silver lining in the situation.

"I never want to make much of it, but it is difficult - very, very difficult," Dench said to the source. "I can't read anymore. I can't paint like I used to, I try to watch movies, but it's quite difficult. But these are all of the negatives. I don't really want to think about all that. What I can do, I do. And I somehow get by."