An event aimed at raising awareness of the most common cause of sight loss in the UK is taking place in Taunton.
The Taunton Macular Support Group, in partnership with the Macular Society, has organised an open day, which takes place on Monday 16 October, from 10.30am-3pm at the Quaker Meeting House, 13 Bath Place, Taunton, Somerset TA1 4EP.
The event will offer information about age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It will also highlight the wide range of support available to people living in the local area with AMD and other macular conditions.
On the day, members of the Taunton Macular Support Group will be on hand to talk to visitors about the group’s activities, how it helps people with macular conditions living locally and additional support available in the area for people with vision loss. The group meets at the Quaker Meeting House on the first Monday of each month. It is one of more than 350 macular support groups all over the UK and offers information, encouragement and friendship to people with macular disease.
There will be an opportunity to try out some of the techniques used by the charity’s Skills for seeing trainers. These techniques can help people to make the most of their remaining vision, enabling them to get around and continue enjoying leisure activities such as reading and watching television.
The Society’s Gadget Guide volunteers will also be demonstrating a range of gadgets and technology, aimed at helping with everyday tasks, including lighting, e-readers and tablets.
In addition, representatives from Somerset Sight will be in attendance to provide information on sight loss support services available locally.
AMD affects the central vision and more people are being affected as our population ages. It is estimated that around 600,000 people in the UK have AMD, with over 200 new cases being diagnosed every day. At the current rate, around 1.3 million people will be affected by 2050.
Lesley Herriot, leader of the Taunton Macular Support Group, said: “Events like these are a great way to raise awareness of macular disease and highlight the support and help offered by the group. The group is here for anyone affected by macular degeneration and we would like anyone with macular degeneration to come along and meet others in the same situation.
“It’s good to be able to learn from each other’s experiences and tips. Peer to peer support can be so helpful – our groups can really help people increase in confidence and become more independent.
“If you have AMD or any other macular condition, or if you have a friend or family member who has been affected by sight problems, then please come along and see us on 16 October to find out more, or come to our meetings on the first Monday of each month. Friends, family and carers are welcome to join us too.”
For more information on the event or the Taunton Macular Support Group, please contact Judy Pride, Macular Society regional manager, on 01837 52365.
For general information on macular degeneration, call the Macular Society’s helpline on 0300 3030 111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.