BESB: Independent Living Services for Older Adults

Independent Living Services for Older Adults

BESB receives federal funding authorized under Title VII, Chapter 2 of the Rehabilitation Act to improve the independent living skills of older adults (55+) who are totally or legally blind and to prevent unnecessary nursing home placement. {man with magnefying glass}

Age related eye diseases including macular degeneration (ARMD), diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma are among the leading causes of blindness.  The majority of older adults with severe vision loss retain partial vision and can be helped to improve their remaining vision.

Most services are provided in the home by itinerant staff and include the following:

  • Assessment, information on legal benefits,  BESB services, and referral to other community agencies by social workers

  • Self-advocacy training

  • Instruction in methods of orientation and use of a white cane for identification of blindness, gathering information, and for protection

  • Instruction to improve activities of daily life including home management skills.

  • Training in communication skills including braille, word processing, and writing guides

  • Training in the use of optical, electronic, and other assistive devices to maximize remaining vision

  • Volunteer services

Eligibility for services is based on an eye report that is sent to BESB by an eye doctor.  Services are available to eligible clients at no cost.

In addition to itinerant services, BESB offers Independent Living Support Groups and training at Senior Centers throughout the state.   Seniors receive support from other group members, training to improve independent living skills, and information about community resources. Contact the agency at (860) 602-4000 or (800) 842-4510 to find out if there is a program currently available in your area.

Hope When Vision Fails is a free seminar sponsored by BESB in communities throughout Connecticut to promote increased awareness in older adults, service providers, and the general public of age-related eye diseases, new medical treatments, and low vision services.

The IL Services Program for Older Adults also promotes the independent living philosophy of self-determination, exercise of choice, and awareness of rights under federal and state laws pertaining to disabilities.  To promote this awareness, BESB is a non-voting member of the State Independent Living Council (SILC).

Content Last Modified on 8/18/2009 12:58:08 PM