For the first time in two years, our week-long Seniors in Charge is live and in-person at the Colorado Center for the Blind! These four dynamic and intrepid older blind folks have been waiting since spring of 2020 to get five full days of blindness training in Braille, technology, cane travel and kitchen skills, and they are determined to get the most out of this opportunity to spend quality time with our Senior staff! Duncan, Chris, Stephanie and Dishon are not disappointing them with long, and at times, intensive training every day. They even spent time in the wood shop with Paul on Tuesday.
“It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since our last group,” said Duncan Larsen, our Director of senior Services during Monday morning’s introductions. “I know you have all been waiting for a long time to attend Seniors in Charge, but i can’t tell you how happy we are to finally have you here in person!”
Seniors in charge brings older blind folks into the center for a full week. Participants stay at our apartments. We typically run this unique program twice a year and have a waiting list. Early in 2020, Duncan was considering offering it three times a year because the waiting list was so long.
But then COVID forced us to cancel the May, 2020 program, and the fall of 2020 and spring of 2021 were also sidelined. That meant that everyone was put on hold, plans pushed back.
“My goals have always been to remain as independent as I can and to stay in my home,” says Olive of her reasons for attending the program. And that is a fairly universal theme. Olive, who will turn 89 this week, lives in Littleton. The other students this week came from Aspen, Brighton and Florence.
There are some modifications for COVID, naturally. Participants must be vaccinated and masks worn indoors, which is the required protocol for everyone at the center at this time. And all the cooking takes place at the center in our much more commodious commercial-sized kitchen. (Some meals in the past were prepared at the apartments.) But all the essential elements of our training are still in place.
The program wraps up Friday morning with a Friends and Family gathering and certificate ceremony. There’s no question this crowd will definitely have earned those certificates!