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Thread: Any ideas that can help a quilter with macular degeneration?

  1. #1
    Super Member Luv Quilts and Cats's Avatar
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    Any ideas that can help a quilter with macular degeneration?

    My Mom is 84 years young and is dealing with macular degeneration, the dry kind, and cataracts. She can't have the cataracts removed for fear of making the macular degeneration worse. She is a avid quilter and it's killing her not to be able to sew. She has tried magnifiers but the problem is not so much magnifications as blurriness, although if she could solve the blurriness a magnifier would probably be needed to. She can't see will enough any more to thread the needle on the machine and other small things we take for granted. Is anyone else dealing with this or know of anything that could help? She had given up driving and now to have quilting be gone as well....it's a huge loss for her. She is still crocheting so she can still keep her hands busy. But it would great to find something that would help her quilt again. Thanks!
    Luv Quilts and Cats
    Never underestimate the healing effects of beauty. - Florence Nightingale

  2. #2
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    I would think the blurriness is caused by the cataracts. Regarding cataract surgery, you may want to get a second opinion. See this link: http://www.amd.org/our-newsletter/148-cataract.html

    Regarding the sewing machine needle, there are "easy thread" types that have an opening on the side. You slide the thread down the side of the needle until it slides into the opening. I couldn't find a link, but I know my 97yo mil has this type of needle in her machine.

    For hand sewing, these needles are easier to thread:
    http://www.spiraleyeneedles.com/About.html

  3. #3
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    Maybe a machine with an easy to use needle threader. Make sure she gets lots of visitors and that they all check to see if the machine is still threaded.
    Last edited by Jbug; 07-13-2013 at 12:38 PM. Reason: add

  4. #4
    Super Member LivelyLady's Avatar
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    My Mom who is 87 has macular degeneration, too. Her passion has always been reading but with magnifiers and large print she's still able to read at this time. She has the dry macular degeneration and cataracts, but had the cataracts removed and it did make a huge difference. It was a quick process and well worth it.
    When you sleep under a quilt, you sleep under a blanket of love.

  5. #5
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    My mother also has macular degeneration. She has the wet kind and has had to have shots in her eyes to stop bleeding in the eye. She loves to read and is working on quilts for my brother and sister. (She finished mine before she came to live with me.) mom lives with me full time. She has an ott light with a magnifier on it. She also has a magnifier she wears around her neck. I have her sewing machine set up in my sewing room so when she wants to sew I am usually in there with her. I thread her needle when she gets frustrated. I usually wait until she tries herself because she tells me she can do it herself. It works. For hand sewing I got a needle threader that sits on the table and you put your needle eye first into the hole and push the lever. I have tried to make it possible for her to do as much as she can by herself. My DMIL also with wet macular degeneration told me to keep encouraging her. The day she decides she can't do something, she probably won't try again. If she suddenly can't do something try to find out why. It may be more light needed or. Stronger magnifying glass. Don't give up before doing everything possible to help her keep doing the things she loves.
    Last edited by Vera39760; 07-13-2013 at 01:24 PM.

  6. #6
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    Take her for an eye appointment to see if the cataract is ready to be removed. She can have one done and once she recovers, she can decide if the improvement is worth getting the second eye done. My mother has wet MD and gets shots to help but is gradually losing her sight. She used to love to read but it is a chore now. We are getting books on tape for her. I just saw a report of a new breakthrough for dry MD. I think it is just in the testing stage and is a lens fitted to the eye that focuses the image to the side instead of the center where the black spot is.

  7. #7
    Super Member franc36's Avatar
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    I have had the dry form of macular degeneration for the past 27 years. I use two Ott lights around my sewing machine and one at my ironing board and cutting table. I wear magnifying glasses when doing hand sewing or threading the needle on my machine. Wednesday, I am having eye lid surgery. My doctor says that will greatly improve my vision. When I had the cataract in my left eye removed, I couldn't believe the difference it made. Fortunately, my macular degeneration doesn't keep my doctor from operating. By the way, he said I should be back to quilting a couple of days after the surgery. I hope your mother can get her cataracts removed. I think that would make a big difference.

  8. #8
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    Paul Harvey use to advertise this product on the radio:
    http://www.livestrong.com/article/42...lar-nutrition/
    http://www.aragonproducts.com/p/6089...r-Degeneration
    you can check them out. I hope the best for your mom.
    The joy of the Lord is my strength.

  9. #9
    Super Member alwayslearning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vera39760 View Post
    My mother also has macular degeneration. She has the wet kind and has had to have shots in her eyes to stop bleeding in the eye. She loves to read and is working on quilts for my brother and sister. (She finished mine before she came to live with me.) mom lives with me full time. She has an ott light with a magnifier on it. She also has a magnifier she wears around her neck. I have her sewing machine set up in my sewing room so when she wants to sew I am usually in there with her. I thread her needle when she gets frustrated. I usually wait until she tries herself because she tells me she can do it herself. It works. For hand sewing I got a needle threader that sits on the table and you put your needle eye first into the hole and push the lever. I have tried to make it possible for her to do as much as she can by herself. My DMIL also with wet macular degeneration told me to keep encouraging her. The day she decides she can't do something, she probably won't try again. If she suddenly can't do something try to find out why. It may be more light needed or. Stronger magnifying glass. Don't give up before doing everything possible to help her keep doing the things she loves.
    One of our quilting group is having similar problems. Everyone should have a daughter like you. Great advice.
    "Only those who know enough is enough can ever have enough." Lao Tzu

  10. #10
    Super Member jemma's Avatar
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    sashiko -- white thread on dark blue is my go to when my eyes are tired[also macula degeneration] also english paper piecing can almost do them by feel--clover desk needle threader takes round eye needles easilly--i like milliners size 9 can do most things including beading keep chin up and mind open i even taught myself crocheting for later

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