Accessing emergency services
Accessing emergency services is one of the most important things we teach our patients. We start by putting bight, tactile dots on the numbers “9” and “1.” These bump dots really stand out and can be felt. It also is helpful if the patient has a large button, high contrast phone. Most people do not know it but the Massachusetts Equipment Distribution Program gives one of these phones to low vision patients for free. We also recommend that a simple desk lamp be near the phone to illuminate the dial pad. That way, the keypad is much easier to see.
We believe that this is so important that we make sure that all our patients can either dial 911 by themselves or are wearing an emergency medical alert system button. If they are not subscribers to an emergency alert system program, we provide them with a list of vendors whom they can contact.
Being alone and needing emergency help is pretty daunting. We believe that being alone with low vision and needing emergency help can be overwhelming without the right training.