Deafblind seniors residing on their own in the community are at high risk for isolation. Deafblindness can cause those affected to be less stimulated by their environment, resulting in a variety of mental health issues including depression and anxiety while others may battle obsession and compulsion disorders. NEHD has instituted a multifaceted activities program to cater specifically to the needs of Deafblind residents to better serve and foster their psychosocial well-being and improve their quality of life.
“We are overwhelmed, and so very grateful to Cummings Foundation for their generosity. These funds will immediately, and directly impact our Deafblind residents’ lives, and that means so much.” Said Jessica Dupont, director of marketing-development-activities at NEHD.
Most Deafblind residents communicate with tactile sign language and require a one to one resident to staff ratio for communication access and to take part in activities. They are also given access to and assistance with adaptive technology and Braille transcription services. Deafblind residents are encouraged and enabled to increase socialization and form friendships with their peers, thus allowing them to develop a better awareness of others. Residents are able to come together in a safe and stimulating environment that allows them to boost their self-confidence and be a part of the community. The ultimate goal of the program is to provide residents with equal access to communication and activities that coincide with their needs and interests. Sustaining grant funds ensure that this unique population will be served for many years to come.
“Long-term financial support is rare for nonprofits, making fundraising a constant and time consuming task for organizations like NEHD,” said Joyce Vyriotes, deputy director of Cummings Foundation. “The Sustaining Grants are intended to provide some relief, allowing them to focus more of their time and energy on delivering and enhancing their important services.
Established in 1901, NEHD is the only organization in the Northeast dedicated to serving the residential and health care needs of the elderly Deaf population. NEHD offers a continuum of care to Deaf and Deafblind and hard of hearing seniors, including independent living, rest home, skilled nursing, Deaf senior centers, rehabilitation, respite services and hospice care. NEHD’s mission is to provide long term healthcare, housing, recreational activities and social support for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing individuals in an accessible, barrier-free and culturally-sensitive environment with optimal communication and architectural resources.