WGCU (PBS and NPR for southwest Florida)
Dan is an 83-year-old man who was referred to Lighthouse of Collier by his home health care nurse. Dan is a self-described “hermit” who lives alone in a dilapidated trailer in southeast Naples and receives limited income. Currently, his son lives nearby but will be moving out-of-state this summer. About 10 years ago, Dan stopped driving due to legal blindness and other health conditions. Without help, Dan’s situation could be tenuous.
Dan’s initial priorities were to obtain fresh groceries, travel to and from doctors’ appointments, continue reading books, safely navigate public places, and access paperwork and pay bills. Through funding from Florida Legislative bills sponsored by Senator Kathleen Passidomo and Representative Bob Rommel, the Lighthouse addressed his goals, enabling him to remain in his home.
With help, Dan learned how to schedule Paratransit rides. He also learned how to download and read books using the National Library Service’s Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) app, allowing him to cancel his expensive Audible.com subscription. Additionally, Dan was provided with magnifiers and a check-writing guide. Dan now independently reads his mail and pays bills.
Fortunately, Dan already possessed a high level of technological skill, using his iPad to order canned foods and cat food through Amazon. However, he struggled with reading emails. Learning how to use the Speak Screen feature to listen to emails and dictation to create emails has helped considerably. Dan also learned to use Siri to create and read calendar appointments.
Most importantly, Dan was unaware that he could have fresh groceries delivered to his home. The Lighthouse instructor downloaded the Walmart grocery app and helped Dan learn to search for and add items to his favorites list. With practice, Dan will be able to order healthy, fresh foods. Dan is close to reaching his goals and keeping his independence.