January is National Eye Month and as the Activities Director in an independent living retirement community, I like to draw attention to it due to the fact that there are residents living in our community with eye issues. Yes, we can recognize each month's health focus and that might come across as "not real fun activities," so pick and choose the ones that will work in your community and then make it great.
For National Eye Month, there are a few different programs that will benefit your community and they are:
- Invite a local area's eye doctor to come give a lecture to your residents about eye care/eye health
- Ask an organization like The American Foundation for the Blind to provide a speaker who would come to the community and share the tools that can help low-vision residents with their daily living tasks. See the Resources for Activities Directors for some low vision game aids that will help your residents stay "in the game."
- Provide a bus to a store that sells the items that will help the residents with poor vision. Make sure to call ahead and tell the store that you will be coming so that they have plenty of staff available to help. Give the group enough time to be served and don't allow the group size to be to big.
- Ask your local area's eye doctor's if they have an eye screening van that can come to your community and provide the testing required for a healthy eye.
- Highlight the special services that are available though your community's library or the local library for those with low-vision.
- Check out the National Library Service Talking Books information that is available for all U.S. residents. You can pass this information along to those in need in your community.
- And, as I am thinking about what else might be good to add, I was thinking....you can also scheduling a bus to a store that sells prescription eye wear. This might be a store that they already go to, like Walmart, but during the month of January, you might want to highlight that it has an optical department.
"You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand." Woodrow Wilson
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