Help Me Help A Visually Impaired Patient

I have a lady in my rehab unit who is in her 80’s and absolutely loves murder mysteries. I give her all the paperbacks I have finished, but her eyes are so weak she cannot read them.

I have asked the occupational health department of my hospital for assistance, but they are clueless! They say that anything of this nature must be provided by her family, and she has no family!

So I wanna get her a magnifier that can perhaps be worn around the neck, so that she can just hold the book underneath it and enjoy reading it. Does such a thing exist?

Thanks for your help


You might find what you need here…

Good luck!

This is a great thing you are doing.

Quasimodem, that is great that you’re hunting for that for her. I just wanted to mention the Talking books program, in case she’s eligible. She may prefer having the book in her hands though, or she may not be visually impaired enough to qualify. Good luck with your search!

Gee, I hope when Im 80 no one gives me a stack of their old records :slight_smile:

Why hasn’t she been taken in to get glasses? This is weird, cause if she can use a magnifier, she should be able to use glasses, right?

Lions Club, if you have one locally, might have an answer.

Try contacting the local library - many classic books are available in large print and lots of libraries will even deliver books for the aged.

This product does indeed exist. Just do a search for neck magnifier on google. I found a bunch of listings, though none from companies I recognized, which is why I’m not simply posting a link. Lighthouse probably carries one, though they don’t make it easy for an individual to use their product index. You may also be able to find one in a craft store, as even not so old people find them helpful for sewing and needlepoint. My grandma has one, and it really used to make a difference. Actually, I don’t think she uses it anymore, and I might even be able to send it to you if you’d consider a used one. I’ll check in a few days when I’m at my parents’ house.

This is what I thought of (and lurker b suggested.) Any craft store should carry something similar.

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions!

Handy: The paperbacks I give her are not old. They are new ones off the shelf, which I give to her as soon as I finish with them. She, in turn, passes them along to other patients. She is in a semi-private room with not a lot of space to stash things.

As for your question about glasses. She already has them. I don’t know why she cannot see the small print in the books. Perhaps one of our other Doper friends can explain this. I see her for respiratory needs, and am only trying to help with her reading.

Thanks again, y’all


Also ask your library about volunteers who read to the blind. Many libraries are involved with such programs. If they’re not I’m sure they can help you get in contact with such an organization. Or contact the local highschool: many highschools nowadays require their students to do so many semester hours of volunteer work, and reading to the blind is often one of the jobs these volunteers choose.

Good luck.

As space thus storage of bulky items is limited, there are two other possibilities worth considering: a Fresnel lens and a line magnifier.

Small Fresnal lenses are available as a sheet of thick plastic, either page or bookmark sized, so are easy to store and can be used as placekeepers. In America the Nature Stores have them and in Australia the Australian Geographic Stores also carry them, so they are reasonably easy to find. Depending on the quality of the item, the visual discrimination a Fresnal lens provides may or may not be adequate for your patient’s needs, so I’d suggest you run any you find over some fine print before buying.

A line magnifier is usually the length and width of a bookmark, but semicircular in cross section, about 1 cm high (so not so useful as a placekeeper!). They are used in sewing/knitting to magnify a couple of lines of (tiny) type in the sewing/knitting instructions. Any good haberdashery or craft store should have one - though the name may be different in different countries. They look like this line magnifiers