Seniors with Vision Loss Have Learning Options

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By Barbara Peterson, M.S.

It’s really no surprise that seniors prefer to remain in their own homes for as long as possible. Yet, as we age, those steps look steeper, the toilet seems lower, the shelves get higher, and it’s harder to read the dials and buttons on the kitchen appliances.

The good news is that we can learn new techniques that will help to extend our stay in the comfort of our own homes.

Blind & Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh, an independent nonprofit agency that has been serving persons with visual impairments since 1910, offers both in-home instruction and small group classes for seniors who are struggling with vision loss.

In-home Instruction

Our Community Based Training program helps seniors adjust, adapt and continue to live in their homes independently with vision loss. Trained staff assesses the individual’s personal needs and provides education in areas such as mobility, daily living activities, communications and basic computer skills. Training takes place in the individual’s own home.

Small Group Classes

For seniors who do not require in-home instruction, Blind & Vision Rehab offers New Outlook, a classroom training program. Participants with vision impairments learn together in a small-group setting a variety of adaptive skills and techniques aimed at improving their ability to function independently and safely at home. Typically, classes are offered one day each week for six weeks at our Homestead location or in facilities serving seniors.

For details about New Outlook classes or the Community Based Training program, contact Bonnie Rizzino at 368-4400 ext. 2246 or email at brizzino@pghvis.org.

Barbara Peterson, M.S., is director of client services at Blind & Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh. For more information on Blind & Vision Rehab, call 412-368- 4400 or visit www.bvrspittsburgh.org.