Older adults with vision loss, a consideration of coping strategies, appraisals, and coping resources
Grabusic, Carmen C.
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Estimates suggest that approximately 10% of Canadians aged 65 and over have a visual impairment that restricts certain activities (NACA, 1990). Yet relatively little is known about the ways in which individuals deal with such losses in later life. This thesis focuses on the management of vision loss in later life. Secondary analyses were conducted using data from the 1993/94 Chronic Illness and Disability in Later Life Study. Personal interviews were conducted with a sample of 393 Manitobans aged 68 and over. About one-third of the respondents reported eye trouble not relieved by glasses. Cross-tabulations and discriminant function analyses were used to consider whether older adults with and without vision loss differ in terms of socio-demographic characteristics and coping resources. A description of the situation of older adults with vision loss, and the actions that they take to deal with their losses are highlighted. Guided by a modified version of Lazarus and Folkman's (1984) conceptual framework, logistic regression findings reveal that various types of appraisals are associated with the use of the three most frequently identified coping strategies. In comparison, relatively few of the coping resources were associated with the same strategies. Finally, no direct relationships were found between socio-demographic characteristics and coping strategies. This thesis illustrates the need for a conceptual framework developed specifically to examine coping with vision loss in later life to better understand how older adults manage with such losses.