this is the senior programs page of the blind service association website.

senior programs

about

More than 8.5 million older Americans currently experience various forms of visual impairment. That number will likely double by the year 2020. Diminished sight presents significant challenges at any age, but seniors also often wrestle with other difficulties associated with aging: restricted mobility, and wide-ranging health problems. Blind Service Association offers a group of programs specifically aimed at helping seniors live better with visual impairment.

vision connection

The Vision Connection is a social and educational membership club for visually impaired people over the age of 50 with declining sight. Its purpose is to offer support and enrich their lives by providing opportunities for social networking and learning.

Vision Connection members also attend concerts, go on boat rides, have lunch at favored Chicago dining spots, and attend lectures given by top ophthalmologists or other professionals working in areas related to vision loss among older members of the community.

Members also receive a monthly newsletter available in large print, cassette, e-mail, or digital format.

reading

Losing the ability to read can be a great frustration for someone losing their sight. At Blind Service Association (BSA) volunteers are available to help read mail, sort pill bottles, write correspondence and help balance monthly check statements. Having access to reading has helped to keep many people out of nursing homes and provides them with a sense of dignity that comes from maintaining their independence in their own home. To learn more about BSA's reading program please contact Allison Lewis at 312-236-0808.

eccentric viewing

For people who have central vision loss due to macular degeneration or other causes - Blind Service Association offers a workshop in eccentric viewing. The workshop is headed by a developmental optometrist. Participants learn to maximize the use of their healthy peripheral vision, bettering their ability to handle problems of daily living. The program also helps participants sharpen auditory perception and improve balance and spatial awareness.

senior support groups

Losing one's sight to age related eye diseases for most people is a devastating ordeal. Often talking with others going through the same experience can be helpful. Blind Service Association hosts a support group with a trained facilitator. Participants gain from others' knowledge in an understanding, sympathetic setting where they can feel free to express their thoughts and feelings. Attending a support group can also be a valuable social outlet, people often make friends and enjoy themselves while getting the support they need.