Polly is 87-years young with the vim and vigor of a 65 year-old. About four years ago, she was diagnosed with macular degeneration and glaucoma. At the time, Polly was very concerned about her diagnosis and therefore enrolled in the Independent Living Classes. Polly was quick to implement the tools and techniques she had learned into her daily home life. This enabled her to continue to live independently.
Over the past three years, Polly became a permanent client “fixture” at Lighthouse of Collier. She used Uber or Paratransit to attend weekly various classes/events including: a sewing group, Out and About events, cooking and accessible art classes and several support groups.
Polly also came regularly for assistive technology lessons to learn how to access her smart phone and tablet. Today she can independently use various accessibility options, including: Select-to-Speak, Hey Google and Zoom. Additionally, Polly learned how to use Envision AI to scan/read paperwork and bar codes. Not bad for this spritely 87 year-old. Just goes to show – age is just a number!!
On a personal level, I have become quite fond of Polly and look forward to our weekly/bi-monthly lessons. Polly is an exceptionally compassionate person. She worked a long career as a hospice nurse and has shared several heartfelt stories. In fact, Polly and her coworkers started the first official hospice center in the late 70s. The new building was launched by pioneer psychologist Elisabeth Kubler Ross and famed physician, Cicely Saunders. Polly and her group also helped pass the first Medicare bill to cover hospice services.
Before coming to the Lighthouse, Polly said she was “floundering.” Now, she exclaims “I have learned to focus on what I can do.” According to Polly, “the Lighthouse of Collier is one of the best agencies available in Collier County!”