Looking on the bright side can be challenging at the best of times, but it can be especially difficult to find the positives when it comes to losing your vision.

Our Better Living Program aims to assist Queenslanders with this adjustment, teaching tools to cope with negative feelings and useful skills for everyday living.

Guide Dogs Queensland Psychologist Janet Cheong said the program provides an opportunity for clients to explore their emotions and learn effective strategies to manage their emotions.

“The Better Living Program helps our clients understand the impact of vision impairment and identify the losses associated with losing sight,” she said.

Guide Dogs Queensland Occupational Therapist, Janine Howlett, runs the Better Living Program with Janet. Janine adds “For a lot of people, vision loss can also be associated with the loss of independence, mobility and freedom – which can be quite confronting.”

“We take a holistic approach to the individual journeys of the Queenslanders we help, and try to do all that we can to ensure they have the support they need to accept their condition, remain motivated and be empowered to live their lives to the fullest.”

Sunshine Coast resident Glenys who attended the three day Better Living Program and said it provided her with practical skills to integrate into all aspects of her life.

“Some of the biggest things I’ve taken away from the class have been strategies in communication and mindfulness,” she said.

“The program is always incredibly valuable to learn about myself and be able to spend time with others in a similar situation to me.”

By providing a people centred approach, the Better Living Program also gives attendees a wider support network they can easily relate to.

“Losing your vision is an overwhelming and difficult experience to manage, and we learnt a wide range of healthy coping strategies and ways to process any grief we felt,” Glenys said.

“Vision loss can sometimes feel like a lonely journey, but these classes bring us together to share our experiences. I’ve realised that I never have to deal with it by myself because I have the support Guide Dogs with me all the way, and I’d really recommend the program to anyone dealing with vision loss.”

If you or someone you know has been affected by vision loss and would benefit from attending the Better Living Program or receiving any of our other services, click here for more information.

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