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Living & Aging Well

Empowering seniors who are dealing with vision loss

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Adapt, Adjust, Achieve (A3), previously known as the American Council of the Blind of Colorado, began almost 40 years ago with Families for the Blind. They are a nonprofit organization with their headquarters located right in the heart of Denver. A3 has expanded their service capabilities and their geographic area, especially over the past 10 years. Their staff of professional, knowledgeable and compassionate individuals now serve throughout Douglas County, with their Sight for Seniors Program.

A3's Sight for Seniors Program provides a holistic, supportive and educational environment for seniors and their families that truly empowers each individual person. Their approach helps seniors maintain and improve their independence, and remain involved and active with their families and communities while avoiding premature long-term care placement. Current research indicates that one in three persons age 65 or over will develop a degenerative eye condition. Despite these numbers, A3 firmly believes that losing your vision does not mean losing your independence.

They uphold this belief by educating the community on eye disease, by providing tools on supporting overall health, navigation of medical care in relation to sight, and instructions in daily living skills to help people learn how to adjust and adapt to any type of vision loss ... to thrive with independence. Sight for Seniors allows each client to achieve increased safety, maintain or gain an active lifestyle, and better their overall health in all aspects of their lives while also connecting them to vital resources. There is no charge for this important program. Everyone receives tailored service based on their learning style and their particular needs and goals; it is not a "one size fits all" approach.

A3's services include an in-home assessment, personalized training and/or education as well as counseling and guidance. They offer a network of support groups, resources and referral partners to ensure that all their clients' needs are met. Their Orientation & Mobility Training is given by Certified Specialists and they have a variety of adaptive aids. They have volunteers who work tirelessly to provide support via phone along with accompanying clients out in the community. Through their network of partnerships, they are also able to offer some financial assistance for vision specialist exams.

A3 is excited to present their fun and informative Visually Impaired Peoples' Fair (VIP) on Sept. 13. This event will be held at the Douglas County Events Center from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. It includes workshops, exhibitors showcasing the latest adaptive devices, services and technologies. Lunch will be provided so please RSVP!

Barbara H. Boyer has served as executive director of A3 for over 12 years. In addition to her responsibilities, she serves as a legislative advocate. For more information on A3, the VIP Fair or to schedule an appointment, call Morgan at 303-831-0117 ext. 0 or visit www.a3colorado.org. This column is hosted by the Seniors' Council of Douglas County. For more information please visit MyDougCoSeniorLife.com, email DCSeniorLife@douglas.co.us or call 303-663-7681.

Barbara H. Boyer

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