Aids for sufferers partically sighted


Registered User
Aug 6, 2007
Hi there
Has any one experience of this? My mum had very little sight before the onset of this illness and because she struggled to see e.g. reminder notes she has always depended upon her memory. Has any one any suggestions?
The problem is that the "sight" people suggest things which mum can't cope with due to her memory. The Alxheimer people suggest things/aids which mum can see well enough to cope with.
One of the carers for my mum is suggesting the use of a Dictaphone so mum could play back after taping reminiscent information. I don't want to be negative but I don't think she could cope with new things and secondly the Dictaphones I have seen are small and I don't think mum could see the symbols even is she could remember what they were for.
I also do not want to buy these things as they are costly if she can't use them. We have for example had to get mums old CD and radio fixed as we bought her a new one and she just could not use it.
The OT has also suggested having a talking clock and calendar which would remind my mum what day and time it is to help orientate her. She has promised me a catalogue which despite my repeated request has still not appeared after six months. Has anyone any tips?
Many thanks


Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hello Keely,

I Googled talking clocks and as far as I can see, your mother will still need to remember to press a button if she wants to know the time. Would she remember to? My husband wouldn`t.

I agree, you don`t want to spend money for new equipment, only to find your mother can`t manage it.

I think sufferers of dementia get to a stage where the only constructive help comes from personal guidance. If your mother has carers in regularly, perhaps they could liaise with you for important reminders and information.

It`s a very sad stage of the condition when the only thing of use is a person. :(


Registered User
Dec 1, 2006
Hello Keely,

the Royal Institute for Blind People (RNIB) has a catalogue of aids and equipment to help people with impaired vision. This is viewable on their website at

You can also see their equipment in their resource centre in London, (Judd Street, a short walk from the new St Pancras International Station. )
I agree with Sylvia that it is risky laying out money on new equipment, but you may see some things which won't need your mum to remember anything. ( They also do a large print weekly newspaper which your mum might enjoy).

An elderly friend of mine has a talking watch which will tell hime the time if he presses a button on it, but often pipes up when he pushes the button accidentally. Not sure if this will help or serve to confuse further but it makes us all laugh a lot. He calls the voice 'his American lady friend' because it has been recorded by a US female. He wears the watch to bed sometimes and sometimes triggers the watch in his sleep. I think it alos has a rooster crowing noise on the alarm setting!

There are advisors on hand in the RNIB resource centre who would help you think about the items there and try to find something for your mum's situation.
Regards Deborah


Registered User
Aug 6, 2007
Personal guidance

Hi Grannie G and Deborah
Thanks for the reply. I will look at some equipment but I do think some personal guidance is real answer but I have to say I have had endless and fruitless discussions re reminding mum. But they will only do this when they call in which may be hours before hand and of course she forgets.
for example the fruit and veg van calls to the retirement village every Friday at 10 am. The care staff may call into mum at 8.30am and then three other times during the day. They are willing but (never remember) to tell her when the van is calling. They sometimes remind her there is some activity she could attend in the retirement village (where she lives and the care is provided) - but then they tell her eg two hours in advance and she forgets. They carry mobile phones with them but say they can not give her a ring. It’s so frustrating I am trying to work run a home remembering every thing for my family and my sister who is disabled and being my mum’s diary as well. I then forget and worry I am loosing the plot as well!:eek: