LOW VISION FRIENDSHIP CLUB
Among the seniors in our programs, there are a number of survivors faced with age or disease-related vision loss.
Newly diagnosed, many lack the coping skills necessary for dealing with the life changes caused by moderate to severe vision impairment. This, together with heightened anxiety, has caused otherwise active men and women to become virtually home-bound, which often results in feelings of hopelessness and depression.
The “Low Vision Friendship Club” meets monthly, and is facilitated by a social worker along with a staff member of the National Federation of the Blind.
Meetings focus on day-to-day issues that come up, such as safe cooking, keeping track of phone numbers and money, and getting around in unfamiliar places. Here, among other Holocaust survivors who are also struggling with significant vision loss, members feel “understood.” We celebrate victories and commiserate losses together, among friends, while sharing tips and learning new skills.
Group facilitators check in with participants, to see if there are additional ways in which “Project for Holocaust Survivors” can be of help.
“I felt so lost when my eyes got bad. What was the purpose of going on? I couldn’t recognize friends on the street or even see what there was to buy at the grocery, so it was easier to stay at home. No one really understood what my life was like. My social worker told me about a group of other survivors with eye problems, and that a car would pick me up and bring me home, so I said I’d come one time. I met other women there who are just like me! We talk about doctors and treatments and even about things like putting on makeup without seeing and crossing streets safely. Now I stay in touch with my friends from the group throughout the month and it feels good to know that I’m not alone.” – Mrs. C.