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Published: May 16, 2013
What Our Support Groups Offer: Older Individuals with Blindness


The Independence Center provides numerous support groups for those who are in need of guidance, assistance, and a welcoming and friendly environment.  The support groups are a part of our Independent Living program, which provides the information and encouragement for people to believe they can create the life they want and provide training and support to accomplish their goals.

OIB provides services and support to individuals 55+ with blindness or low vision, by facilitating support groups as well as education to assist with maintaining independence in the home.
As we age vision loss becomes more and more prevalent through acquiring macular degeneration, cataracts, or diabetic retinopathy. It is always alarming when our vision starts to change and we’re not sure what to expect in the future. The IC believes that seeing less does not mean doing less.
Technological advancements, as well as simple no-cost tips, can assist us in continuing to read, be involved in our hobbies, cook, travel, and do all the things we enjoy. The group offers many devices to assist in this. From audio books, check signing machines, large print phones that read the news to you and magnifying lights. All of these services are free of charge for participants.
This confidential and dynamic group is open to anyone who would like to attend, from family members, friends, loved one or caregivers. In this group, there is no question that is ever stupid or wrong.
“I find that with our seniors and their vision, they still have a zest for life and I learn a lot from them. Just watching them grow as they lose their vision, they encourage me and each other as well,” said Jeanette Fortin, OIB specialist.
Not only does the support group provide an outlet for those to come and share their stories and experiences, OIB can also assist you in your home as well. We can set up appointments with you to assess your home and ways to make it as accessible as possible. Additionally, many individuals have found refuge in the group’s knowledge of other people who can be of help, such as doctors or senior care facilities.
Currently, OIB is focusing their classes on nutrition and how eating healthy is something everyone is capable of doing. Additionally, OIB offers services on how to utilize public transit.
“To able to give people the ability to do things themselves, the things that we take for granted, if we can help people with that then that’s rewarding,” Gail Melton, an OIB Specialist, said about the groups
Interested in attending? Check our calendar for the next meeting!


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