The Daily Item
NEW BERLIN — Michael Hobbins topped a day of learning Ageless Wisdom Sensitivity Training by providing first hand insight on what it is like to adjust from a seeing person to one of blindness in a matter of minutes. Students of the health professions classes at SUN Area Technical Institute, listened intently as he told what it was like to adjust to his blindness and his training to learn how to be more independent. He described the types of equipment he uses and how he completes his daily activities. He told them how he adjusted to the change and his outlook on life. Students reported it was the best part of the day to see and hear the reality of disabilities that they were being taught that day.
Ageless Wisdom Sensitivity Training is a program that attempts to teach health care works what their patients are experiencing. The purpose of the program is to provide health care workers with experiential training in normal aging and abnormal aging due to disease conditions. Health care workers become sensitized to the needs of older adults and are provided with the Golden Rules of care giving (2009, University of Pittsburg Institute on Aging). Students participated in the four hour class. They were taught about aging changes that occur in hearing, vision, touch, smell, taste and other ailments known to the elderly. Simulations were achieved by using heavy rubber gloves to dull touch. They were limited to how much they could move and used special glasses depicting different visual disabilities including blindness.