CHH Low Vision Center & Torrington Lions Club offer help with sight limitations

The Charlotte Hungerford Hospital (CHH) Occupational Therapy Department and The Torrington Lions Club have teamed up to help provide medical and financial support to individuals who experience low vision by assessing their sight limitations.

CHH’s Low Vision Center is located at the CHH Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine Clinic at 1151 East Main Street, Torrington.  These services are provided by Michelle Whitford, Registered Occupational Therapist, who has received extensive training in low vision and provides this service to the patients in this community. Patients begin with an assessment to determine their degree of vision loss, an individualized plan is created with specific goals focused on providing assistance and improving their quality of life. Strategies are then developed to help people perform daily tasks, at times using tactile and talking products. Individuals are educated on availability of assistive technologies and learn to use their remaining vision effectively and live more safely and independently.

“Low vision affects over two thirds of adults over 65 years of age.  It’s our goal to ensure that older adults with low vision are able to maintain their independence and experience quality of life. Our hospital is pleased to partner with the Lions as we are inspired by them. The Center is really made possible by their resources and encouragement.” said Mandy Hill, CHH Rehabilitation Manager.

The service is covered by most insurances and the Torrington Lions Club supplies all the devices a patient may need free of charge and may assist in financial hardship situations. A physician referral for Occupational Therapy Low Vision is needed. Office hours are Monday and Wednesday 7am- 5:30pm, Tuesday 1:30pm-5:30pm and Friday 7am-3:30pm.

For more information, contact the CHH Occupational Therapy Department at (860) 496-0046.

The Lions have also donated a supply of wallet sized magnifying cards to Charlotte Hungerford Hospital (CHH) for distribution at its front desk. Residents may stop by anytime and pick one up for free.

People that have low vision often report they “can’t see.” Low vision is a condition that can’t be corrected by medical or surgical intervention or by eyeglasses.  It limits an individual’s ability to complete many daily activities, which may include any of the following examples: reading and signing forms, reading the numbers on a clock, or difficulties locating steps, curbs or items within one’s home.

Macular degeneration, glaucoma, or history of stroke or diabetes, are the most common medical conditions causing low vision. Simple tasks may become more difficult and frustration often occurs with low vision.  Although low vision can’t be corrected, there are many ways to make daily tasks easier. There is now help locally for people affected by low vision.

The CHH Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine Clinic utilizes evidence based practices to provide professional, one to one therapist treatments to help reduce pain, restore function, and improve movement and functional abilities for patients. In conjunction with the referring provider, therapists conduct a comprehensive initial evaluation then create a detailed long range plan of care specific to the patient’s presenting impairments and individual needs. For more information, call 860 496-0046.


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