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Diabetes and Vision Loss Tips: Problem Solving
EZ Track Medical Record Keeper
The key to problem solving with diabetes is keeping accurate records so you can review and evaluate your self-care actions to better understand how they affect your blood sugars. It is helpful to look for trends and patterns in your numbers.
Success begins with mastering adaptive reading and writing skills for people with vision loss. You will need accessible record-keeping methods and monitoring devices. Consult a vision rehabilitation therapist to learn ways to record and access important information.
Hand-held accessible digital recorders such as the Micro-Speak talking digital recorder are available. Before purchasing a digital recorder, ensure the device and its features are accessible. Difficulty in perceiving patterns in blood glucose readings presents an issue with using audio devices for diabetes records. For example, when you hear a string of consecutive monitoring results, picking out patterns at particular times of day is more difficult than seeing the results arranged in a legible column on a piece of paper by time of day. You can partially overcome this problem by “marking” particular types of records with sounds that make them easy to find on the recording. For example, pre-meal blood glucose may be “marked” with a high-pitched sung tone, and carbohydrate consumption may be “marked” with three taps on a table.
Most talking glucometers have a memory setting that stores your blood sugar levels. If you need a different method or need to track your food intake, find a reliable, accessible, non-visual method of record-keeping that works for you. Options include large print, low glare paper, using a 20/20 felt pen, using a recording device, a computer spreadsheet, or an accessible app.
Discuss with your healthcare providers your need to receive health information in an accessible format (records of physician visits, lab results like your A1c, special instructions, weight loss/gain, etc.).
You may need to establish a record-keeping system. For example, APH has an EZ Track Medical Record Keeper, (pictured above) a large print organizational tool for keeping medical records. It provides a system for storing and organizing information on personal identification, medical history, insurance, medications, physicians, and other medical records.