Blind Rehabilitation Services (BRS) continues to provide access to care in alternative formats. That includes VA Video Connect and third-party alternatives, such as FaceTime, Skype and Facebook Messenger video chat.
The collective goal is ensuring Veterans are safe and have continued access to BRS in alternative formats (virtual treatment modalities, telephone). Aimed at limiting COVID-19 exposure risk, VA implemented various safeguards to protect Veterans and employees.
As a precautionary measure, putting safety first, Blind Rehabilitation Center Service chiefs work with their teams to discharge patients at home.
Wellness Check for safety
The BRS Wellness Check Initiative addresses Veterans’ immediate safety concerns.
The staff addresses Veterans’ top emergency needs such as access to food and medication and self-care items, as well as travel issues.
BRS staff continues to provide blind rehabilitation training at home and replacement prosthetics. After addressing critical and basic needs, the BRS staff identifies VA Video Connect (VVC) and technology needs. The staff also implements innovative care practices that include Healthy at Home sessions for Veterans.
These checks help Veterans reconnect and reinforces healthy habits, recreation, and stress management.
BY THE NUMBERS:
- 5,610 Veterans served by Blind Rehabilitation Centers (BRC) and Visual Impairment Service Outpatient Rehabilitation (VISOR)
- 4,741 completed wellness calls (85%)
- 162 wellness calls identifying emergent needs
- 870 wellness calls resulting in BRS training needs
- 420 wellness calls resulting in identification of VA Video Connect (VVC) training needs
Niki Sandlan is a certified low vision therapist and the director of Blind Rehabilitation Services.