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For those with wet macular degeneration, the relationship with one’s caregiver is incredibly tightknit. You share so much time together and come to understand one another in a very deep level. But like any relationship, a lot of time together can lead to friction. Sometimes problems can lead to arguments, which can lead to hurtful words – things you might not say to each other under normal circumstances.

Here are some helpful tips that can help you move through conflict together when managing wet macular degeneration.

A young woman holding her mother’s hand as they sit and talk outside.
Stock photo. Posed by model.

Reframe the Problem

What is actually bothering you? What is the deeper source of your stress or disagreement? Identifying this can help you think more rationally about solutions. Another way to visualize this is to change how you view the other person in a conflict. Rather than thinking of it as yourself versus them, think of it as you and the other person versus the problem. This kind of thinking can help you partner with them  to identify a solution.

Reset Yourself

What seems like a major, upsetting, or frustrating issue may in fact be a small problem, exacerbated by stress or lack of firsthand experience living with wet macular degeneration. Stepping away from a conflict for a short break can help you keep your feelings in check, rather than saying something hurtful. A short walk outside or even a few minutes alone can help you reset your own energy and re-enter the situation with a level head. And if you’re unable to take a break, there is always time to take a deep breath in and out. For a longer-term solution, consider seeking outside assistance.

Working with a Professional

Some issues may not be so simple, or the communication styles between you and someone else may be out of sync. In some cases, it may be best to find a counselor together. A professional can be your third-party viewer and may be able to identify something you and the person you care for have not been able to realize yourselves, in order to reframe the issue and work toward a resolution.

The World Through Their Eyes

While you may logically understand what it is like to live with wet macular degeneration, the one you are caring for lives with it all day every day. This can be scary or stressful, and caregivers may not understand the full extent of what the person is feeling. The ViaOpta Sim app has an option to simulate vision with wet macular degeneration, and can help put you in the eyes of the person living with the condition.

Conflicts can seem large, complicated, or overwhelming in the moment. But there are always steps you can take to reduce stress, reframe the issue, and work with the other person to come to a solution.

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