Independent Living for Seniors

Vision loss later in life is common in older adults.

It’s well documented that aging correlates with increased risk of vision disorders. From cataracts to age-related macular degeneration, loss of vision often brings the loss of ability to do many everyday activities required for independent living. As a result, the Carroll Center has designed programs specifically for seniors that teach methods to adapt and adjust to the remaining vision they have in order to best live independently day to day.

Evelyn H.

“I’m able to travel safely, live independently and participate in activities that keep my mind and body active thanks to the Carroll Center.”

Essential Skills Training

For those who have experienced extensive vision loss and are struggling with daily tasks – cooking, grocery shopping, keeping track of mail and bills, finding dropped objects, or having medications accessible and organized – we invite you to participate in one of our campus-based or community-based Essential Skills Training programs. Participants will get to try adaptive equipment and learn new techniques from experienced and caring staff. The result: improved skill, confidence and independence.

The Carroll Center for the Blind offers two types of Essential Skills Training programs:

  • Intensive Essential Skills Training
    • Held at our facility in Newton, MA, participants are taught various adaptive techniques and devices, from indoor safety to kitchen management to medication organization. Emotional support is also provided.
  • Community Group Classes
    • Held once a week in small group settings such as senior centers, elder care facilities, and other agencies serving older adults, Community Essential Skills Training is typically a six-week course designed to teach valuable independent living skills to individuals. Led by a Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist (CVRT), participants learn about adaptive techniques and devices that enable consumers to continue with daily activities, even with vision loss. Each class offers a combination of lecture and hands-on activities in a supportive group atmosphere.

Diabetes Self-Management

Diabetic Self-Management is a community-based service for diabetics with vision loss who struggle to manage their diabetes independently. This program provides individualized, home-based services in independent diabetes management.

This service for the blind and visually impaired is staffed by registered nurses, who:

  • Conduct a diabetes needs interview.
  • Assess independent diabetes management skills and motivation/follow-through.
  • Provide a familiarization to and training in the use of adaptive devices (e.g. Humalog Pen, Prodigy Voice Monitor).
  • Coordinate the ordering of adaptive equipment.
  • Provide diabetes education in relevant topics (e.g. insulin management, the role of diet, exercise etc.).
  • Conduct follow-up sessions for individuals as needed/recommended.

In-Home Vision Rehabilitation

If your vision loss has impacted your independence and is keeping you from engaging in the community, an in-home visit by a Certified Vision Rehabilitation Teacher (CVRT) can help. As part of our services for seniors with vision loss, a CVRT will come to your home and help you organize items, teach you indoor safety, label stoves and other appliances, teach you safe cooking and eating methods and demonstrate magnification and lighting devices.

Safe Travel - Orientation & Mobility Training

Safe travel training may take place in the home, in the home neighborhood, in local business areas, on job sites, on public transportation, or wherever there are travel concerns. Travel tools might include low vision skills and devices such as special tinted glasses, long, white cane, or support canes. The length of training will vary depending on each individual’s goals and abilities.