Vision: Coping & Thriving in a Life Beyond Sight
The Greater Detroit Agency for the Blind & Visually Impaired, which has been serving metro Detroiters for more than 60 years, is now augmenting its services to meet even more of the needs of those they serve. Being more proactive, the agency will now place more emphasis on the socio-emotional needs of those experiencing the transitional period of losing vision, because they recognize the process can be mentally challenging.
“It really is a grief process, very often,” said Executive Director Stefanie Worth. “People think of grieving as when someone dies, but grief is really about loss, and so if you’ve been a sighted person and suddenly you face a deterioration in your vision, that can be slowly progressive or progress rapidly, there’s a grief process. You’ve lost something that you relied on.”
No matter where individuals are on their journey, the agency is committed to helping those who are visually impaired or blind.
“We want to be able to help people and meet them wherever they are,” she says of those who will need to identify mechanisms to cope and thrive in a life beyond sight.
Worth advises people to be proactive about possible vision problems, whether there are symptoms of troubles or an underlying health condition, such as diabetes. She says it is important to get an annual eye exam and that caregivers and allies of older adults should listen to what the senior is and is not verbalizing, and bring all concerns to the doctor’s attention.
For more information on GDABVI, or on seeking treatment, visit
www.lifebeyondsight.org, or call 313.272.3900 for help navigating the required medical insurance or Medicaid.