Possession of Low Vision Reading Devices Among Residents Living in a Retirement Facility

Academic Article


  • Introduction: The purpose of this cross-sectional survey was to examine the possession of low vision reading devices and factors associated with possession of these devices among residents living in a continuing care retirement community. Low vision reading devices are devices other than eyeglasses that aid in reading at near distances. Methods: One hundred and two usable questionnaires were received from residents, ages 65–97 years old, living in the independent and assisted living units of a retirement community. Results: Data indicated that 47% the participants reported having an eye disease, and 53% of the participants owned at least one low vision reading device. The two most common types of devices were handheld magnifiers (40%) and gooseneck lamps with or without a magnifier (26%). Of the 48 participants reported to have eye disease diagnoses, 65% owned a reading device. Forty-six percent of the participants reported having trouble with reading when performing one of the six daily activities even with their reading eyeglasses. The final multivariable logistic regression model indicated that participants who reported having trouble with reading in near distance were significantly more likely to own one of the reading devices. Discussion: This study identified a discrepancy between the high prevalence of visual impairment (i.e., blindness and low vision) among residents living in a retirement community setting and a relatively low number of residents owning low vision reading devices. Findings suggested the key factor contributing to residents’ decision to own reading devices is their level of visual impairment. Implications for Practitioners: Knowing the factors to owning low vision reading devices, occupational therapists may assist residents in continuing care retirement facilities to obtain the appropriate devices.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Shepherd JL; Vice J; Shultz HL; Davis MM; Hseih J; Yuen HK; Vogtle LK
  • Start Page

  • 311
  • End Page

  • 322
  • Volume

  • 116
  • Issue

  • 3