One of the most debilitating parts of dealing with changing vision can be losing confidence in yourself and your abilities.
The Better Living Program at Guide Dogs Queensland gives people who have low or no vision a chance to explore the emotional side of vision loss, and learn ways to develop and regain their confidence.
For Elsie, being able to share her experience with people who are in a similar situation has been incredibly helpful.
“You start realising there’s a commonality and you’re not doing all of this on your own. People are in the same boat as you are,” Elsie said.
Both Glenys and Fred have attended the Better Living Program before and find that each experience continues to be valuable.
“You just finish the program feeling different and it helps put things into perspective,” Glenys said.
“You’re sharing the experience with other people and you don’t feel so isolated. The staff are so wonderful. You feel like people understand you and you feel nurtured.
– Elsie, Guide Dogs Queensland client
Fred, who has been with his first Guide Dog ‘Ripley’ for 18 months, said the program helped people to manage their emotions.
“It helps a lot with mental attitudes,” Fred said. “We all get frustrated sometimes and the program helps you to be able to resolve your own frustrations.”
The four-day program includes outings and classes that give participants a chance to explore their creativity and sense of self, with activities ranging from lunch along the Sandgate waterfront to yoga and bowling.
“It just really helps your soul,” Fred said.
The programs would not be possible without generous community donations.