Aging Eyes Initiative
The Aging Eyes Initiative partners with community programs and organizations throughout Minnesota to help seniors adjust to vision loss by providing:
- Information about eye conditions common to seniors, such as macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy
- Low-vision aids and devices at no charge
- Referrals for more extensive assistance at State Services for the Blind (SSB). Learn more about SSB's services for seniors.
Becoming a Community Partner
We provide training and resources to community partners at no charge. Training includes a two-hour workshop and online courses. Upon completion, partners are able to:
- Understand common eye diseases and how they affect vision
- Provide information about vision loss and strategies for adjusting to it
- Use evaluation tools to help identify needs.
- Modify living space so seniors with vision loss can remain safe and independent
- Coordinate referrals to SSB’s Senior Service Unit for additional independent-living assistance
A wide variety of senior-service organizations can become community partners. Here are a few examples of our current partners:
- Living At Home Network Programs, which focus on helping seniors maintain good health
- Faith Community Nurse Network of the Greater Twin Cities, which combine professional nursing and spiritual care
- Centers for Independent Living, which help people with vision loss (or other disabilities) function at home, work and in their communities
Once trained, partners sign a memorandum of understanding with SSB and receive a kit of low-vision aids and devices to be given to seniors at no charge. Kits include:
|Limited vision chart (1X to 6X)
||Small signature guide
|Half-inch, bold-lined paper
||Bump dots for kitchen & appliance marking
||Large-print kitchen timer
|3X illuminated pocket “slide” magnifier
||Jumbo & super-jumbo playing cards
||Reader’s Digest large-print calendar
|Communication Center (TBP/RTB) brochure (with NLS Application Form)
||Resource sheet for low-vision products
||Large-print crossword puzzle and word-find books
Aging Eyes Initiative Receives Award for Innovation
State Services for the Blind was honored to receive a Minnesota State Innovation in Government Award in recognition of our Aging Eyes Initiative. The initiative provides training and a kit of low vision aids and devices to community members who work with seniors. These community partners can then provide practical assistance to seniors in the early stages of vision loss. The awards, organized by the Humphrey Institute's Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center and the Bush Foundation highlight innovative projects that improve the lives of Minnesotans. The award sponsors showcased the work of the Aging Eyes Initiative in a short video.
Watch it with Audio Description (or with captions). Read the transcript.
Living Well at Home
Without tools and training, vision loss can be a significant factor in losing independence. Minnesota’s Living Well at Home Program helps seniors assess their risks and create a plan for remaining as independent as possible. The short but comprehensive quiz is a valuable tool for understanding risks and creating an action plan. We urge our community partners to use the quiz as a way of supporting the seniors you work with. You can fill it out online or download it.
Forms for Current Community Partners
These forms help partners work with clients and communicate with SSB.
Join Our Partner Network
If you provide services to seniors in your community and would like to assist seniors experiencing vision loss, join our growing network of community partners. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us at 651-539-2276 or complete the form below and we'll contact you.