A photo of Stella Hagemeyer.

Stella Hagemeyer may be 88, but the last thing she wants to do is slow down. After all, she has spent decades being involved on committees, in politics, at her church and with the Warren County Fair.

She has a family that includes kids and grandkids who love swimming in their pool and training race horses on their 170-acre farm.

It is completely understandable that the woman whose desk is surrounded by photos representing her life’s milestones would not want to let something like macular degeneration get in her way. These days she still goes to her meetings and activities, she just has someone drive her. She also has learned to do things differently thanks to the support she received from CABVI.

Stella had already seen how the agency benefited her husband when she too found herself losing vision. Living in Wilmington, Ohio, an appointment at the agency’s Lebanon satellite Low Vision Service was her first step toward regaining her independence.

She received a variety of hand held, lighted, desk top, and other magnification devices to help her watch television, read, cook, pay bills, and even continue her annual tradition of sending out 250 Christmas cards.

A vision rehabilitation therapist came to the Hagemeyer’s home to help Stella, with adaptations, learn new ways of doing activities that are important to her. A talking calculator, check register and signature guide help Stella keep up with her bookkeeping. Raised dots on her stove ensure she knows how to adjust the heat settings. An adaptive needle threader and assistance in learning how to use the sewing machine with limited vision have meant Stella can get back to hemming clothes.

“I’d be lost without their help,” she said. “CABVI has given me my life back.”