City scheme for sight loss support

Successful fire service scheme refers 50 people for sight loss support
Successful fire service scheme refers 50 people for sight loss support
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A Sheffield woman has received specialist sight loss support, after a blaze in her home revealed an ongoing issue.

Dawn Caney was referred for support after a new scheme, run by the fire service, saw fire service staff notice cataracts that may have contributed to the incident.

Mrs Caney, aged 60, is now awaiting surgery on her cataracts, is visited by a physiotherapist to help her walking and referred to a care agency who help her with day-to-day tasks.

She said: “I noticed that my eyes were getting bad about three years ago when things started to look blurred and I got a lot of headaches. I was frightened of slipping, so I stopped going out. I was also frightened because I didn’t know why I couldn’t see clearly anymore.

“After the incident at my flat, the fire service sent a home safety officer out to visit me and the officer noticed I couldn’t see clearly and referred me to Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind who I had heard of, but didn’t know how to get in touch with. I also didn’t know that they helped people like me who weren’t totally blind.

“Since then my life has changed a lot, all for the better.”

Dawn’s referral was made thanks to ‘Optimeyes’ - a two year partnership between South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and Royal National Institute of Blind People. The scheme has trained dozens of fire service staff in delivering a simple, five minute sight screening tool to assess sight problems. The assessment is now built into the fire service’s established programme of home safety visits. 50 locla people have already received referrals as a result of the scheme.