A new thermostat helps one man keep his independence

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TERRE HAUTE Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — A northern Terre Haute senior will keep his independence even as he loses his eyesight thanks to the installation of a talking thermostat.

The Wabash Independent Living and Learning Center, or WILL, delivered the device Thursday to Bob Osborn, who is visually impaired. Osborn said his limited sight makes living alone hard, and a device like this will help keep him out of a nursing home.

“I thought I would have to go to a nursing home,” Osborn said. “I like being able to live in my own home, and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to anymore.”

Danny Wayne, Assistant Director for WILL, said the organization received a request for the device in 2019, and it was made possible in 2020. The WILL Center helps to empower those with low vision or vision impairment in the Wabash Valley through donations from the community and its businesses.

Osborn explained how he felt when he first got the news. “When I heard a man was coming to install it, I was overwhelmed with it all. I was nervous,” Osborn explained, “but excited.”

Sean Regan, a Service Technician for Major Appliance said he enjoys doing projects like this in the community.

“When I first looked at that, I knew it wasn’t going to work for me because I didn’t understand anything, Osborn said. “But Sean made it so easy, it didn’t take no time at all. He had me operating it, not as well as him, but he had me operating it comfortably.”

Osborn said visibility issues makes staying out of a retirement home a little harder, but technology like the thermostat gives him his independence back.

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