"I never knew how much your happiness in life was completely dependent on being able to hear," Mrs. D said. After she was fitted with hearing aids, she said, "the difference is like night and day."
Gift of Sight, Hearing & Dentures
Can you imagine what it is like to:
- Be unable to read because you can’t see?
- Be unable to set an oven temperature
- Be unable to see your cherished grandchild’s face?
- Take the wrong medication because you can’t see the label?
- Be unsure who the person is at your door before you open it?
- Be unable to hear the news or your favorite programs on TV or radio?
- Be unable to enjoy music?
- Be unable to hear a church sermon or be a part of a Sunday School class?
- Feel lonely because you can’t chat with a friend?
- Be unable to use the telephone or hear the doorbell or a smoke detector?
- Be unable to enjoy your favorite foods because you can’t chew properly?
- Be unable to carry on a normal conversation because of missing teeth?
- Be embarrassed to smile at a friend or to be photographed with your grandchild because of how your mouth looks?
Give the gift of Sight, Hearing & Dentures to a senior today!
What is it?
The Gift of Sight, Hearing & Dentures program is a joint project of the Knoxville-Knox County Council on Aging and the Senior Citizens Information & Referral Service of the Knoxville-Knox County CAC Office on Aging. The Gift of Sight program began in 1985 and expanded to become the Gift of Sight & Hearing in 1996. In 2007, dentures were added to the program (GOSHD). (The denture program does not provide for any other type of dental services such as cleanings, extractions, fillings, or other types of restorative work. Applicant must be ready for dentures when applying for the program.) The program is also made possible through the generosity of caring professionals who provide their services for free or well below cost. The mission of GOSHD is to provide eyeglasses, hearing aids, and dentures to low-income Knox County citizens (age 50-plus for Sight & Hearing, and age 60-plus for Dentures).
What does it do?
The Gift of Sight, Hearing & Dentures program provides eyeglasses, hearing aids, and dentures through an interest–free revolving loan fund, to qualifying individuals who cannot afford them otherwise. Repayment of the cost over time is based on ability to pay. Professional services are donated by ophthalmologists, optometrists, audiologists, dentists, and dental labs, which keeps the costs as low as possible. The program carefully screens applicants to determine need, arranges vision, hearing, and denture exams donated by doctors in the appropriate fields, and fills eyeglass prescriptions, provides hearing aids, and pays for dentures. The program allows older Knox County citizens who cannot afford the full cost of eyeglasses, hearing aids, or dentures to pay back the cost a little at a time as they are able. Most pay back the full cost, some cannot ever pay all the cost, a few cannot pay it back at all. Eyeglasses, hearing aids, and dentures are not normally covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or supplemental insurance.
Who has been helped?
Since the inception of the program in 1985, more than 6,000 individuals have received eyeglasses, hearing aids, or dentures through this program. The number of people seeking assistance from the Gift of Sight, Hearing & Dentures varies from year to year, but there is a steady and increasing need for this service.
One of the greatest benefits of the Gift of Sight, Hearing & Dentures program is that it encourages financially disadvantaged seniors to take care of vision, hearing, and dental problems before they worsen. Often, during GOSHD exams, serious diseases or other medical problems of the eye, ear, or mouth, have been discovered, allowing Medicare-covered treatment before the problem progressed to the point of irreparable damage.
The Gift of Sight, Hearing & Dentures program is administered by Senior Citizens Information & Referral Service, a program of the Knoxville-Knox County CAC Office on Aging.
Phone: (865) 524-2786
P.O. Box 51650
Knoxville, TN 37950-1650
2247 Western Avenue