Age My Way: Celebrate Older Americans Month in May

older woman holding tandem bike

The Administration on Community Living (ACL), who administers the Older Americans Act (OAA),recently announced the theme for Older Americans Month (May 2022) is Age My Way. The theme epitomizes ways older adults can remain in and stay involved with their communities. This theme is especially relevant for older people adjusting to vision changes, who often think they must give up activities or even their home when faced with low vision.

The ACL was created with the underlying principle that, “older adults and people of all ages with disabilities should be able to live where they choose, with the people they choose, and with the ability to participate fully in their communities.”  (Home Page | ACL Administration for Community Living, 2019). Older individuals may be eligible for many OAA services such as transportation or meals on wheels that can help them remain at home.

VisionAware’s mission of “Independent living with vision loss” aligns perfectly with this principle. In honor of Older Americans Month, we are rolling out a new section for professionals who interact with, or serve, people adjusting to low vision or blindness.

Resources for Professionals

The professionals section features tip sheets for helping people who are adjusting to vision changes, blindness, or may have other disabilities. Some example tip sheets include;

Tips for Living with Combined Hearing and Vision Loss – VisionAware

Recreational Activities for Older People Who Are Blind or Low Vision – VisionAware

Checklist for Choosing a Senior Living Community – VisionAware

Meeting, Guiding, and Orienting a Person Who is Blind or Low Vision – VisionAware

The professional section also highlights important topics related to aging and vision loss, including current policy and advocacy initiatives of the Aging and Vision Loss National Coalition, (AAVLNC). Leaders of national, state, local, private, and public agencies, with the goal of advocating for equal access and quality of life for older Americans with vision loss, serve on the coalition. Some of the articles you will find highlighting AVLNC’s work include:

Aging & Vision Loss Consumer Advocacy Training Program – VisionAware

Aging and Vision Loss Tool Kit – VisionAware

Big Data is a Big Deal for Older People with Vision Loss – VisionAware

Aging in Place

Too often when vision loss occurs, older people think they must give up activities they enjoy and move from their own homes to live with others.

VisionAware, part of the APH ConnectCenter, offers life-changing resources and information. We encourage independence by connecting people to needed vision rehabilitation and social services, empowering them to take back their lives.

In addition to the new professional section, VisionAware provides suggestions for aging in place and provides concrete information on making one’s home accessible and easy to navigate.

Follow #OlderAmericansMonth on social media for the latest from the Administration for Community Living (ACL).

References

Administration for Community Living. (2019 January, 11). Advancing independence, integration, and inclusion throughout life. https://acl.gov/


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