A record-breaking year for our Senior IMPACT Project

Senior IMPACT Project participants.

Senior IMPACT Project participants.

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.”

Senior IMPACT Project field trip.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.