Technology Changes Lives

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“The technology they have in the lounge is really impressive,” says Catherine Golrick of the Bradford View Lounge at Brighton Gardens, a Sunrise Senior Living community in Arlington, VA. The Bradford View Lounge was designed specifically for people, like Mrs. Golrick, who are suffering from macular degeneration. Mrs. Golrick has been selected to help other residents learn how to use the powerful, new technology.

One of the most impressive features in the lounge is a 42-inch television, which can be enhanced by special, colored glasses. “The glasses make the TV much clearer and closer, and everything appears larger,” says Mrs. Golrick. The low vision lounge also includes a machine designed by Xerox that enlarges the type of any reading material placed on its lighted surface. Mrs. Golrick notes, “You can make the type just as large as you can imagine.”

The lounge provides people with macular degeneration the opportunity to “read” again with numerous audio tapes of books from the Library of Congress. The extensive selection allows residents to choose from a number of topics that interest them, and Mrs. Golrick already has plans to listen to several books. In addition to books, a technology called The Washington Ear allows residents to simply flip a switch and listen to the daily Washington Post.

Beautiful new furniture and a specially designed living area will ensure that residents are comfortable while they utilize the new technology. The rooms on the floor have also been redesigned to accommodate new residents with macular degeneration. “They have large buttons on the telephone and a special alarm clock and other features,” explains Mrs. Golrick.

As the resident representative for Bradford View, Mrs. Golrick is excited to help other residents learn how to use the new technology. She is third person in her family to suffer from macular degeneration and fully understand the need for new advancements to help individuals cope with the disease. She says, “I was so surprised by how well some of the technology worked, and I’m looking forward to trying my best to help others learn how to use it.”

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