A record-breaking year for our Senior IMPACT Project
Anyone who thinks getting older isn’t fun should come by Society for the Blind during one of our eight-day Senior IMPACT Project immersion retreats. Each month we have a boisterous group of older adults who come together with mentors and staff to learn how to age actively with vision loss. Laughter abounds as the participants learn to navigate with a white cane, make lunches together and learn the accessible features of their smart phones.
This year, a record number of seniors took part in our Senior IMPACT Project. We had 627 new participants this past year – over 100 more than we anticipated. This reflects the findings of the 2015 American Community Survey conducted by the American Foundation for the Blind regarding the aging population: “1 in 15 seniors ages 65 and up has serious difficulty seeing, even when wearing glasses or contacts. For those over 75, it goes up to 1 in 10.”
With the year-over-year growth in the need for our Senior IMPACT Project, we couldn’t be more excited to be nearing completion of our new space on the first floor. It includes a new teaching kitchen and dining room for our Senior IMPACT Project retreats, which have outgrown the current teaching kitchen. The new space has a much larger group training room, which will come in handy as the monthly support groups and caregiver workshops continue to grow.
As we all age, we have a good chance of encountering some symptoms of vision loss; most of us can name older friends, family members or colleagues experiencing age-related vision changes. There is good news for everyone: Society for the Blind is here and ready to assist seniors with vision loss so they can age actively with grace, dignity and abundant joy.