WINNETKA, Ill., Aug. 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — August 21st is National Senior Citizens Day, a day intended to recognize and acknowledge the contributions of aging adults. First observed in 1988, Senior Citizens Day has also become an opportunity to address the many factors that affect older adults, including a rise in prevalence of health issues as life expectancy rates increase.
New research is projecting that the number of older Americans who have visual impairments or are blind will double by 2050, with macular degeneration, glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy as the leading causes for vision loss among aging seniors.
Hadley, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and the nation’s leader in distance and online learning for visually impaired adults from all 50 states and more than 100 countries, recently launched Hadley.edu. The new online learning hub offers free how-to online workshops on a variety of practical topics, live support from experts, and timely discussion groups, and the popular podcast Hadley Presents: A Conversation with the Experts.
Vera Thompson, 69, Los Angeles, is among the growing number of visually impaired seniors who recently turned to Hadley for help. After being diagnosed with Glaucoma, Thompson found herself foregoing needed medical care due to her inability to navigate city streets and sidewalks on her own. Through Hadley, Thompson learned how to access special low vision features on her cell phone to audibly read text, identify people, access public transportation maps and define objects and surroundings.
Daryl Pratt, 73, Chicago, is a retired engineer diagnosed with macular degeneration. Pratt relied on his personal support network until the pandemic forced him into quarantine. Pratt took workshops from Hadley for those with vision loss on how to use Zoom to stay connected and engaged with family, friends and other vital resources throughout the pandemic.
Anita Kelly, 60, of New York, was challenged with depression following her vision loss. Confining herself to her bedroom, Kelly began learning braille from Hadley and eventually took more than 100 online workshops, including many on adapting to vision loss on practical things like getting around her kitchen.
«Vision loss can be initially devastating, particularly for older individuals living in senior care facilities or without family nearby,» said Julie Tye President and CEO of Hadley. «As we observe National Senior Citizens Day, Hadley remains committed to ensure that seniors with visual impairments have the needed resources to empower them to thrive at home, at work, and in their communities.»
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