May 13, 2009

Peabody man honored for community service work

PEABODY – Ninety-six-year-old Woodbridge Assisted Living resident Bert Silverman has been named a community service superstar.
On Monday, Silverman won for the category of community service at the 2009 MassAlfa (Massachusetts Assisted Living Facilities Association) Superstar Awards in Burlington for his work on macular degeneration.
Having been diagnosed with the disease in his mid 70s, Silverman has since been on a mission to educate, support and serve his community on the subject.
In his late 80s, he wrote a book called “Bert’s Eye View: Coping with Macular Degeneration,” for which he is currently in negotiations with Barnes and Noble and has since traveled to surrounding cities and states talking to senior groups and audiences at bookstores about the condition.
Originally from Portland, Maine, all of Silverman’s proceeds from the book go to a center for the blind in the city.
When Silverman got to the point where he couldn’t read anymore, he took it in stride and got a machine to help him. The same goes for when he gave up driving and learned to take public transportation and take advantage of rides offered through local senior citizen service groups.
With his upbeat and humorous manner, Silverman enjoys counseling others in Woodbridge and elsewhere who suffer from all degenerative eye diseases.
He has also started a support group for people with low vision at the Lahey Clinic.