Wayfinder’s First Program for Seniors With Vision Loss

Older Individuals who are Blind, or OIB, is Wayfinder’s first program specifically for older adults with visual impairment. The program targets individuals age 55 or older who have difficulty living independently due to their vision loss. Vision loss in seniors can reduce their ability to care for themselves and navigate their community. Each OIB client receives individualized, one-to-one services that are based on their personal needs. The program can help in so many ways. For example:

• A client with low vision may want to learn how to use magnifiers or audible devices.
• Some clients may be interested in assistive technology, like smart phones and tablets that read
aloud what is on the screen, virtual assistants, or the talking book library available through the
National Library Service.
• Those whose vision loss hampers their mobility in their homes can learn indoor orientation and
navigation techniques. To get around in their community, specialists teach use of a white cane,
public transportation or rideshare services.
• Others may need to learn new ways to accomplish basic household tasks, such as safe cooking,
cleaning, personal grooming or laundry.

“Our hope for this program is to help someone like Gloria, whose vision has been declining,” says Allison Burdett, vice president of visual impairment & developmental disabilities services. “Both she and her husband, William, are retired and they had hoped to travel and explore new hobbies. But William is now afraid to leave Gloria home alone because she is struggling with vision loss, so their world is shrinking. They could become housebound, which would negatively impact their mental and physical health. But the OIB program would help empower people like Gloria and William, ensuring that their world remains open and rich in social opportunities.”

Wayfinder is delivering services in clients’ homes, senior and community centers and on our main campus in the View Park-Windsor Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles County. Want to learn more? Visit www.wayfinderfamily.org/oib Individuals under age 55 may also qualify for OIB services. For more information, please contact Rebecca Deerr at (323) 295-4555, ext. 451, or rdeerr@wayfinderfamily.org.

December 19, 2023