Mackie Opticians has eye on community this World Sight Day

A simple telescope was all it took for one Lanarkshire optician to provide a lifeline connection to the local community for a patient living with visual and mobility impairments.

Dr Scott Mackie – owner of Mackie Opticians, which has branches in Bothwell and Lesmahagow – reached out to the patient after he received a call to say she could no longer attend the practice in person.

Commenting on World Sight Day (October 14), Dr Mackie said: “When the patient called, she explained that her reduced mobility meant she found leaving her cottage difficult. She enjoyed looking out at the nearby park – but as her eyesight was failing, she was no longer able to make out anything in great detail, leaving her feeling isolated from the community.

“The patient has no remaining family and had no visitors for over a year due to the pandemic – so I arranged a home visit, to ensure she was receiving the support and treatment she required. We provided her with a new telescope that could help her long-distance vision, so she could once again feel that connection to the people in the park close by.”

Mackie Opticians has formally pledged to continue its support of the community by signing up to Sense Scotland’s #SharedVision campaign, which enables and celebrates opticians who go above and beyond for their patients.

Dr Mackie continued: “Looking after those in our community is incredibly important to us at Mackie Opticians. We strive to be more than just somewhere people go to get their eyes tested every couple of years, and we’re delighted to be able to genuinely help improve our patients’ quality of life.”

Following his home visit, Dr Mackie also liaised with social services to provide the patient assistance with preparing meals and household tasks, ensuring that she was receiving the care and attention she needed.

Angela Bonomy, executive director of Sense Scotland, added: “We can’t thank Mackie Opticians enough for supporting our #SharedVision campaign and #WorldSightDay2021. Together we can celebrate the work of opticians who go the extra mile for people with communication support needs, including visual impairment. Their fundraising efforts allow us to maintain and strengthen our vision, of a world where the people we work with live meaningful and independent lives, achieving their own ambitions.”