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The Jewish Guild for the Blind Newsletter
GuildCare Serves Blind And Visually Impaired Elderly Throughout NY State
Eleven years ago, when The Guild launched its innovative,
trademarked day health care program for blind and visually
impaired persons, all of whom have additional medical prob-
lems, there was skepticism surrounding the idea that blind per-
sons living in their own homes would join a day care program
not in their immediate neighborhood. Today, the program is
widely considered to be a successful breakthrough in the field
of cost-effective day health care.
The program is presently serving more than 500 blind and vi-
sually impaired adults in four cities in New York State with a
fifth program poised to open during the Spring of 1996 (see
Designed to maintain, restore and improve the physical skills
and visual functioning of each client, GuildCare encompasses a
wide range of health care services. Guild Executive Vice
President Alan R. Morse, JD, PhD, notes that GuildCare is the
single most successful program for maintaining elderly blind and
visually impaired persons in their own homes and communi-
ties. The need for residential care is deferred or eliminated.
GuildCare is also cost effective. For example, continued Dr.
Morse, on average, GuildCare registrants receive an average of
2.25 days of care per week (for approximately 50 weeks a year)
making the annual cost of Guild-Care about $12,500 per regis-
trant. This compares to the aver- age in-patient nursing home rate
of $130 per day, 365 days each year, or $47,450, $34,950 more
per year per person. Millions of dollars are saved each year and
hundreds of lives are enhanced because of GuildCare.
The GuildCare Program gives its participants a renewed sense
of purpose and a higher level of independence. It provides a
structured environment in which medical, social and rehabilitative
services are made available six hours a day five days a week.
At each of the GuildCare sites, New York City (Manhattan),
Yonkers, Albany and Buffalo, the program includes
speech, occupational, physical and vision therapies. Not sur-
prisingly, vision examinations are a frequently needed service.
Staff members are particularly watchful for problems of low vi-
sion, i.e., when normally prescribed corrective lenses are no
longer effective. Other services, including medical supervision,
care management, nutrition counseling and general health
information, are an important part of the program.
Consulting professionals include psychiatrists, optometrists, dieti-
tians, pharmacists and podiatrists. Skills vital to independent
living, such as writing using a letter writing guide, mobility using
a red and white cane and household safety are taught.
Social and recreational activities provide needed relief from
the isolation which often accom panies aging, particularly among
blind and visually impaired elderly persons.
A Fifth Site
To meet the needs of a steadily growing elderly population that
has age-related medical problems in addition to blindness or
visual impairment, GuildCare will soon open in Niagara Falls.
Its staff will work closely with Buffalo GuildCare and the Blind
Association of Western New York.
With an opening date tentatively slated for early Spring, the
new program is expected to serve a daily population of 50
adults. Elizabeth Goliszek will be the new director (See Pg. 7).
Pre-Teens Tape Books for Preschoolers
The Guild's Elizabeth L. Newman Preschool Program is bene-
fitting from a special project started by 12 and 13-year-olds
preparing for their Bar/Bat Mitzvahs at Tentple Sinai in Teaneck, NJ.
The students have started to record books for pre-schoolers
on cassette tapes. One boy has already recorded 20 books, and,
in addition, has donated some tactile books to The Guild's
Preschool. Some of the students will be making texture books for
The Guild's toddlers as well. Our thanks to these generous young-
sters from Temple Sinai.
Robin Rothman, Benefit Chairman, calls out raffle winners at the
Associate Division annual Winter Gala, held at DOUBLES, a private club
at the Sherry Netherlands Hotel. The event, billed as "Double Up at
Doubles", drew more than 300 young professionals.
[Masthead The Jewish Guild for the Blind Newsletter
Founded in 1914, The Jewish Guild for the Blind is a not-for-profit agency
serving blind, visually im paired and multidisabled person of all ages.
James M. Dubin, Chairman
John F. Heimerdinger, President
Alan R. Morse, JD, PhD, Executive Vice President
Peter C. Williamson, Editor
Jo-Ann Malkin, Director of Development
For information, write Development Office,
The Jewish Guild for the Blind,
15 West 65th Street, New York, N.Y. 10023,
or telephone Mrs. Jo-Ann Malkin at
NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMINATORY POLICY:
The Jewish Guild for the Blind, JGB Education Services, JGB Health
Facilities Corporation, JGB Rehabilitation Corporation and
In Touch Networks Inc., in each and all of their programs do not
discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, creed, sexual pref-
erence, disability, sponsorship, marital status or national and
ethnic origin with regard to admission to any of their programs
and services or in any of their policies or practices.]
First Annual Florida Golf Tournament Scores a Success
More than 100 supporters of Ballet Florida and The Guild
came out on December 13th to play golf and attend an awards
luncheon at the PGA National's Championship Course.
Golfers played three holes of their round with members of the
LPGA tour: Honorary Chairperson Michelle McGann, Julie
Larsen and Donna Andrews.
The tournament, "Tee Off for Children", was the first annual
event in memory of Elizabeth L. Newman, a prominent Palm
Beach philanthropist who actively supported both charities. Pro-
ceeds of the event will go towards the continuation of a spe-
cial dance program for blind and visually impaired children and to
support The Guild's programs for children.
Jerry Aron and John Paxman, members of the Board of Direc-
tors of Ballet Florida, and Dan Kraus, Elizabeth Newman's
grandson, served as co-chairmen.
Continental breakfast prior to tee-off was sponsored by
Thomas L. Monz and the awards luncheon was sponsored by Bea
Keiser Knopf in memory of her husband, Alan B. Keiser. The
use of the golf course and the golf carts was donated by Colin
Wright, President of PGA National and Chairman of the
Board of Ballet Florida.
[Picture deleted: Bea Keiser Knopf, center, Armand
Knopf and Julie Larsen at "Tee Offfor Children " golf tournament.]
Palm Beach Health Seminar Focuses on Vision Care
The Guild's Palm Beach Division's annual Health Sympo-
sium, held on December 4th at the Colony Hotel, drew 100
Palm Beach residents intent on learning more about the leading
causes of blindness and vision boss in America and the latest in
The symposium, chaired by pdy Bergman, was entitled
"Better Vision for the Future". Division President Ronnie Roth
introduced David Robb, President of J.P. Morgan Florida, the
underwriter of the symposium,and thanked the company for its
support. Mr. Robb spoke of the fine work of The Guild.
FAAO, Director of Optometric Services at the Bascom Palmer
Eye Institute of Miami, discussed the latest scientific devel-
opments designed to help severely vision-impaired persons
see as well as possible. These include a battery-powered helmet-
like device called the Electronic Low Vision Enhancement Sys-
tem (ELVES) that employs three miniature television cam-
eras, which place a greatly magnified and enhanced image on a
small screen a few inches in front of the eyes. The Guild is
one of a select group of sites where the device is available. Dr.
Pappas also discussed the importance of having the proper magnifier,
including special telescopes that can be mounted directly on the
lenses of a person's glasses.
Alan R. Morse, JD, PhD, Executive Vice President of The Guild,spoke on
the four leading causes of blindness: macular degeneration, glaucoma,
diabetic retinopathy and cataracts, and stressed the importance of
early diagnosis. In showing the use of photo refraction, a screening
method used with children, Dr. Morse taught the audience how easily
the technique can be used to screen infants, even those as young as a
few months, for refractive errors.
John Flynn, MD, of the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute told the audience
of a planned collaboration with The Guild that will develop and
enhance vision care and vision rehabilitation services in Palm Beach.
[Pictures deleted: Health Symposium at the Colony:
Judy Bergman, Chairperson of the Event (photo at left).
In the photo at right, Florence Lubotta (left) and Sylvia Sloman.]
Connecticut Students Reach Out to AIDS Clients
Seventh and eighth grade students at the Memorial Middle
School in Middlebury, CT, created two six-foot Nutcrackers, 20
gumdrop trees and hundreds of Christmas and Chanukah cook-
ies for residents and day clients at the Center for AIDS Care.
Under the guidance of their Special Education teacher, Karen
Riordan, and her assistant, Carol Walsh, the students also made a
video of holiday messages which was sent to The AIDS Center.
Letters of Hope
The Guild has published an illustrated booklet entitled "Letters
of Hope" that presents words of support from HIV-positive per-
sons to persons newly diagnosed with HIV-related illnesses. The
booklet was conceived by Sharon Lavery, RN, who encouraged registrants
at the Center for AIDS Care to express their thoughts and feelings.
Single copies are free.
[Picture deleted: At a recent Volunteer Recognition Dinner, five volunteers
at the Home for Aged Blind were honored by John F. Heimerdinger, President
of The Guild and congratulated by U.S. Congresswoman Nita Lowey
(D, NY-18). Honored were Gloria Oliviero, Larry Klusky, William Darden,
Joseph Salvarti, and Eleanor Solovey.]
Westchester Division Member Campaigns To Change Currency
Paul J. Feiner, a member of the Westchester Division and Super-
visor of the Town of Greenburgh, is waging a grass-roots
campaign aimed at convincing the U. S. Treasury to change the
design of U. S. banknotes so that a blind person can differentiate
between denominations simply by touch. Mr. Feiner and other
members have taken the proposal to elementary school classes in
civics and government, where students are drafting, signing
and forwarding petitions to their Congressmen.
[Picture deleted: Barry Tucker Brings Opera Music
To Home Residents
Barry Tucker, son of the late Music Foundation and former
Richard Tucker, one of Ameri- member of The Guild Board of
ca's most beloved and famous Directors; Robert Perry, bari-
opera singers, brought opera tone with the New York City
music to the Home in Yonkers. Opera; and William B. Jones, ac-
>From the left: Barry Tucker, companist, Assistant Conductor
President of the Richard Tucker of the New York City Opera.]
Big Apple Circus Brings New Experience To Guild Youngsters
For more than 200 Guild youngsters, the Big Apple "Circus of
the Senses" provided a unique opportunity to experience the
excitement of the circus.
In its eighth annual presentation for children who are blind,
visually impaired and multidisabled, the Big Apple Circus
filled the bright blue big-top tent in Lincoln Center's Damrosch
Park -- close to The Guild's Estelle R. Newman City Center --
with all the madcap fun of the Jazz Age.
"Jazzmatazz" was the theme of this year's all-new circus show.
The music of big bands, dance marathons, radio shows, Holly-
wood movies and the lights of old Broadway created a jazzy
backdrop for the acrobats, jugglers, clowns and trapeze and
Special infrared headsets allowed a blind or severely visual-
ly impaired child to hear a descriptive "play-by-play" com-
mentary of the action in the ring.
A few Guild School students were guided into the ring after
the show to touch the Circus baby elephant. Some of the per-
formers were on hand for special greetings.
[Picture Deleted: The Guild 's Preschool youngsters are greeted by a
Big Apple Circus clown prior to the performance.]
[Picture Deleted: Guild School Teacher Darrell Mirro
and student test new "Tripp Trapp" chair.]
Furniture Maker Donates Chairs To Guild School
A manufacturer of tables and chairs located in Skodje, Norway, and
a furniture dealer in Burlington, VT have donated 15
fully adjustable, ergonomic chairs for use by children in the
Guild School. The chair maker, Stokke Fabrikker, learned about
the Guild School and its search for more appropriate seating for
some of its students, from Edward Bailey, President of its Ver-
mont-based dealer, Best Seats in Town.
The furniture retailer had been contacted by Judy Iwaoka,
one of the Guild School's physical therapists, when she was
seeking information about better seating for school students. The
chair, known as the "Tripp Trapp" is designed to grow with
a child using a fully adjustable seat and footrest.
Guild Contlnues Vision And Dementia Research
A study of the behavioral consequences of vision care in persons
with dementia, an innovative project designed by The Guild in
collaboration with The Hebrew Home for the Aged at River-
dale, will soon begin.
"The basic concept of the project," said Alan R. Morse,
JD, PhD, The Guild's Executive Vice President, "is to determine
whether correcting patients' vision problems and undertaking
staff training aimed at recognizing vision impairment, will make
a difference in the dysfunctional behavior of nursing home resi-
dents with dementia."
Elaine Yatzkan, PhD, Director of Program Planning and
Development, will coordinate the study, which will be conduct-
ed with Jeanne Teresi, EdD, PhD, and Douglas Holmes, PhD, both at
the Hebrew Home for the Aged at Riverdale.
In describing the precise goals of the project, Dr. Morse said, "We
will be able to document the actual visual needs of the nursing
home population, better understand the role of staff training,
and understand the impact, if any, of uncorrected vision loss
on patient behavior."
The project will be conducted in one nursing home in upstate
New York and one in New York City. Testing procedures used by
The Guild are able to identify vi- sual acuity in patients with mod-
erate to advanced dementia who are generally considered untest-
able. Using procedures originally developed for infants, The
Guild is able to evaluate vision in 21% more patients than were
testable using other techniques.
"The issue that we're concerned with is the impact of ap-
propriate vision correction and discovering how it changes the
behavior of nursing home residents with dementia," explained
The ultimate goal of the project is to improve the vision care
and treatment of nursing home residents with dementia. Fund-
ing for the $350,000 project comes from the New York State
Department of Health and several foundations.
Guild Hosts Press Covering NYC Marathon
Again this year, The Guild served as the International Press Center
for the New York City Marathon. The finish line for the five-borough
footrace, now in its 26th year, is near the Newman Center.
120 telephone lines were installed to serve the more than 200
journalists from U.S. and international sports, news and wire
services. WPIX coverage of interviews with the winners was relayed to
receivers in 72 countries.
AT THE GUILD
Alan R. Morse, JD, PhD, Executive Vice President, and Elaine
S. Yatzkan, PhD, Director, Program Planning & Development,
co-presented a paper entitled "Accurately Assessing Vision in
Long Term Care Facilities: The MDS Does Not" at the Annual
Meeting and Exposition of the American Public Health Associ-
ation in San Diego.
Dr. Morse was also a co-presenter of "Vision and Dementia: An
Overview" at the Low Vision Shared Interest Group Sympo-
sium at the American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting in
Atlanta. In addition, Dr. Morse and Dr. Yatzkan co-presented
"Color Vision in Patients With Dementia" at the Annual Meet-
ing in Los Angeles of the Gerontological Society of America.
Dr. Yatzkan also served as moderator for a workshop on "The
Family Caregiver: Caring for Your Body, Mind and Spirit" at
the NYC Department for the Aging's Annual Mayoral Con-
ference on Alzheimer's Disease held in collaboration with the
Alzheimer's Association New York Chapter. Patricia Gaston,
CSW, Director, Dementia Care Services at the Home for Aged
Blind, was a panelist for a workshop entitled "Quality of Life in
the Institutional Setting" at the same conference.
Dr. Yatzkan and Goldie Dersh, MSW, BCD, Director, Mental
Health Services, co-presented "Treatment of Older Persons Experiencing Multiple Losses: A Challenge for Mental Health
Professionals" at the Aging and Mental Health Conference in
Carole Gothelf, EdD, Director of Educational Services and
Caren Mercer, MA, Principal, Guild School, co-presented
"Communication-Based Interventions and Long-Term Plan-
ning" and "Preventing Behavior Problems: A Problem-Solving
Approach to Restructuring Classrooms" at the Royal Na-
tional Institute for the Blind in England and at a Meeting of the
Eastern Region Multi-Sensory Impaired Teachers Network/
SENSE International in London. This visit was part of an on-
going exchange between The Guild and SENSE, the UK's
Deaf/Blind and Rubella Association.
Bruce Massis, MLS, MA, Director of Library Services and Vice
President and General Manager of IN TOUCH Networks, The
Guild's radio reading service, was the guest of the Japan
Broadcasting Service at its Annual Exhibit of Information Me-
dia for blind and visually impaired persons held in Tokyo.
Mr. Massis presented the meeting's keynote address: "Present
Status and Necessity of Radio Reading Services for the Print-
Disabled in the United States."
Angel Guzman, AAS, has been appointed Intake/Homemaker
Coordinator of the CORF/Diagnostic and Treatment Center. He
was formerly a Rehabilitation Assistant in The Guild's Reha-
bilitation Services Department.
Teresa Tramposch, MS, RD, Buffalo GuildCare Dietician,
has been selected by The American Dietetic Association'sGeri-
atric Nutrition Practice Group, to participate in the develop-
ment of Practice Standards.
Elizabeth M. Goliszek, RN, has been named Director of the new
GuildCare site in Niagara Falls, NY. Ms. Goliszek comes to
GuildCare from the McAuley Seton Home Care Agency in
Cheektowaga, NY, where she was a Community Health Nurse.
Prior to that, she was Assistant Director of the
Episcopal Adult Bo Day Health iu Care Program in Buffalo.
Patricia Hayden, RN, and Kathleen L. Norsen, RN, Directors of
GuildCare in Albany and Buffalo, respectively, have been
named regional representatives to the new Adult Day Health-
care Council, affiliated with the New York Association of Homes
and Services for the Aging.
Adele Riordan, RN, BS, Director, Center for AIDS Care, ad-
dressed the Health Care Social Workers' Association of Westch-
ester and Rockland Counties on the subject of operating a Skilled
Nursing Unit for persons with AIDS under the Long Term Care guidelines.
Guild Program Dedicated in West Palm Beach
Special classrooms for an Early Intervention Program offered at
the Ranes Children's Pavilion, a part of the Child Development
center at St. Mary's Hospital in West Palm Beach operated in
collaboration with The Guild, were dedicated in December.
The Palm Beach program for infants ranging in age from birth
to three years of age is modeled on the highly successful Early
Intervention Program offered by The Guild in New York City.
Speaking at the dedication ceremony, Alan R. Morse, JD,
PhD, Executive Vice President of the Guild, said, "It's exciting
to be able to create this kind of program in South Florida. Our
Early Intervention Program, like so many of The Guild's pro-
grams, is designed to be easily adaptable as a model for service delivery."
Ronnie Roth, President of The Guild'sPalm Beach Division
said,"It's wonderful that The Guild is able to help these chil-
dren and I feel especially good when I hear from their teachers
about how well they are doing."
[Picture deleted: At the dedication ceremony of the Early
Intervention Program at St. Mary's Hospital in West Palm Beach: Dr. Alan
R. Morse, JD, PhD, Executive Vice-President of The Guild, Ronnie Roth,
Palm Beach Division President and Florence Free, right.]