Geisinger’s 65 Forward Health Center just became even more well-equipped to care for patients 65 and older.

The primary care facility – already specifically tailored to the expanding 65-and-over population with small patient panels, longer doctor’s visits, in-house lab and imaging services and health, wellness and social activities – recently received accessibility training for blind and visually impaired patients from Northeast Sight Services. Geisinger was the first organization to participate in the nonprofit’s 2020 Community Accessibility Campaign.

Exeter-based Northeast Sight Services recognizes the need to provide resources for the fastest-growing segment of the United States population as the baby boomer generation continues to age into the 65-and-beyond bracket for the next nine years. This aligns squarely with Geisinger’s mission to make health easier for that same group of people by redesigning primary care to offer them an additional layer of care.

Amy Feldman, the organization’s director of development, and Northeast Sight Services vision resource manager Kristen Boyle presented to the 65 Forward staff, educating them on available resources for the blind and visually impaired, the wide spectrum of people with visual needs, proper practice for guiding and assisting patients and even how the architecture and lighting in a space can affect patient experience.

The presentation featured live demonstrations of sighted guide – the dos and don’ts of assisting the blind and visually impaired – and passing around glasses specially designed to allow wearers to experience the effects of age-related eye conditions like macular degeneration and glaucoma.

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