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Seniors with Vision Loss Have Learning Options
By Barbara Peterson, M.S.

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 skills 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 may not need personalized attention in their homes, Blind & Vision Rehabilitation Services offers a classroom training program called New Outlook. Participants with vision impairments learn 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 (412) 368-4400 ext. 2246 or email at brizzino@pghvis.org. Barbara Peterson, M.S., is director of client services at Blind & Vision Rehabilitation Services. For more information on Blind & Vision Rehabilitation Services, call (412) 368-4400 or visit www.bvrspittsburgh.org.

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