Aging & Vision – Living Better with Vision Challenges: a Virtual Forum

February 1, 2021

Posted by Hazel Rosetta Smith for Harlem Community Newspapers

Many people thought the Lighthouse was only for those who were totally blind. Lighthouse Guild has shed a bright light on the services being offered to anyone who is visually impaired. They offer life changing services and products helpful from the slightest to the most debilitating eye impairments. of which there are many.

A recent Webinar titled AGING & VISION — Living Better with Vision Challenges was presented in partnership by the Abyssinian Baptist Church Health Ministry, Linda Thompson, President; the Golden Life Ministry, President Dr. Marcella Maxwell and the New York Chapter of Greater Links, Inc. to focus on vision care.

Rhonda Jay McLean, Attorney, Author. and Philanthropist and former President of NY Chapter of Greater Links, Inc. served as moderator. Lighthouse Guild panel included: Calvin Roberts, MD, President and CEO of Lighthouse Guild, the leading organization dedicated to addressing and preventing vision loss. It is designated with a focus on three words service. inspire and goal. To provide coordinated care for eye health, vision rehabilitation and behavioral health as well as related services that inspires people who are visually impaired to attain their goals to live better without sight.

Dr. Roberts is a clinical professor of Ophthalmology at Weill Cornell Medical College. He was formerly Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. Eye Care. at Bausch Health Companies where he coordinated global development and research efforts across their vision care pharmaceutical and surgical business units.

Janet Weinstein, Director of Outreach addressed various challenges of low vision. Of most concern are difficulties such as recognizing familiar faces, perceiving contrast, seeing obstacles such as curbs and steps and loosing peripheral vision. The aim is to enable people of all ages to make the best use of their remaining vision. The first step in comprehensive vision evaluation is a low vision examination, which is a functional exam by a specialist. Low vision complication can include Macular degeneration. Diabetic retinopathy, Glaucoma, Cataracts, and genetic disorders such as retinitis pigmentosa and albinism.

Angel Pacheco, Vision Rehabilitation Program Administrator. Technology in action is available to assist in adjusting to low vision or blindness. The program introduces skills, strategies and technology to maximize function utilizing and hi-tech devices customized to meet individual needs. One such device is Amazon’s Alexa Echo Dot voice prompting that can include among many instructions to turn lights on and off, change channels on TVs; set alarms, adjust room temperature, provide daily news briefs and other inquiries by asking Alexa to respond. Microsoft offers helpful information on their vision assistance App Seeing AI.

Cheryl Pemberton-Graves, Lighthouse Chief Volunteer Officer spoke of volunteer opportunities under their mission to serve, advocate and give. Volunteers fulfill the needs of clients in ways that are physically and emotionally helpful. Reading volunteers are accepted and pairing with a person in need of vision assistance once a month is as helpful. Volunteering is a selfless act gratifying to the giver and the receiver.

This Webinar on vision care was a message of importance during the ongoing COVID limitations we must maintain out and about. Being mindful of our overall wellness must include concern and care of our eyes. There are normal changes in vision as we get older that include some barely noticed and yet tolerable and those that can be symptoms of more serious diseases. What we do not see a doctor can. Do not forsake your eyes, Lighthouse Guild is there for you at 250 West 64″Street, NYC, 212-769-6200.

Hazel Rosetta Smith, a writer for the Harlem Community Newspapers reports from the virtual forum on Aging and Vision that she has attended. The webinar, titled Aging & Vision – Living Better with Vision Challenges, was presented by Lighthouse Guild in partnership with The Abyssinian Baptist Church Golden Life & the Abyssinian Health Ministries.

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Lighthouse Guild is dedicated to providing exceptional services that inspire people who are visually impaired to attain their goals.