There are solutions for the elderly blind. Many elderly visually impaired men and women have been assisted by the free services of COPE.
The COPE program is grant-funded though:
Affiliated Blind of Louisiana (ABL)
Federal, State and Private Grants
Who can COPE assist?
COPE can help those who are:
55 or older
Have a condition leading to Legal Blindness
COPE requires verification of age and a letter from an eye professional, documenting the eye condition.
"But my vision is too poor for me to be helped"
In-home or Classroom Training
Orientation and Mobility Instruction
Activities of Daily Living Skills Training
Kitchen Techniques and Home Safety Training
Item Identification and Organization Training
Adaptive Device Training
COPE also offers:
Confident Living Program (CLP) - A thirty hour training session over a series of four days. Clients meet in small group settings of 8-12 persons (at centers for Counsel on Aging (COA), assisted living or church facilities). Clients participate in activities that include but are not limited to: low vision screening, orientation and mobility training, money management, advocacy training, cooking safety, arts and crafts, secondary disability training, social activity.
Home Based Training - A four hour session held in the client's own home. Instructors assist Clients with learning to prepare meals using the adaptive aids provided, with safety as a key factor. Instructors evaluate clients on their abilities and awareness in: money management, self medication, use of magnifiers and transportation services including cane travel and their recreational needs along with many other areas that are fundamental in leading an independent life. Referrals are made to other service agencies as needed.
Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Loaner Program - Clients, who qualify, are given a low vision evaluation by a Low Vision Specialist. Only with their recommendation does a client qualify for a CCTV; after which, a COPE staff member will deliver, set up and train the client on the CCTV device. The CCTV will be loaned to the recipient until the unit is either no longer needed or can not be used by the qualified person.
Information and Outreach Program - A presentation has been developed to explain our services, eligibility requirements, and the process to becoming a client. This service was developed as a means of providing information to the underserved population of our state as well as Home Health agencies, Council on Aging and other providers who come into contact with potential clients. Participants in this program will also be given a packet of information to better understand the importance, qualifications and services of our Training Center and Project COPE as well as beneficial information on various eye disorders and much more.
Support Service Provider (SSP) - Over two days, participants will be provided with the skills needed to work with and interpret for deaf-blind persons. This training will allow the SSP to participate in future Confidant Living Program's (CLP) specific for the deaf-blind clients. This training is provided at no cost and you may apply for CEU credit.
Cope provides a limited number of adaptive aids to clients based on the recommendation of project staff. Adaptive Aids promote independence and safety. An adaptive aid may be a talking clock, writing guide, mobility cane or a large button telephone.
REFERRAL TO OTHER SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS
State Library / Talking Books & Descriptive Video Service
Directory Assistance Exemption
Low Vision Evaluations
ABL's Training Center Program
Deaf Action Center, Louisiana Rehabilitation Services, Veteran's Affairs, etc.