We begin to notice changes in our vision as we get older, generally beginning in our 40s. That’s normal, and most of us can enjoy our senior years without experiencing serious vision loss.
However, we need to accept that as we age, the likelihood increases that we will develop an eye disease or condition. That’s why the National Eye Institute (NEI) urges us to keep our eyes healthy by protecting them and seeking early detection and treatment for any vision problem. Taking smart precautions now has the potential to someday save our eyesight.
With aging baby boomers, the incidence of vision problems will skyrocket. According to the NEI, by 2030, about 38.7 million people will have cataracts; 11.3 million, diabetic retinopathy; 432 million, glaucoma; and 3.7 million, age-related macular degeneration.
Tips for seniors to protect their eyesight
Vision problems can cause seniors to fall, make medication errors and decline in their quality of life. Seniors and their families should respond promptly and seek medical treatment for any changes in eyesight. They should see an ophthalmologist to determine the degree of vision loss and discuss a recommendation for treatment. Depending on the nature of the problem, treatments might be special lenses, eye drops, medications, laser therapy or surgery.
To safeguard against vision loss, the NEI recommends that all seniors:
- Get a comprehensive dilated eye exam (every one or two years if you’re 65 or older).
- Use protective eyewear when operating machinery.
- Know their family’s eye health history.
- Wear sunglasses that block out 99-100% of UVA/UVB rays.
- Practice wellness—maintain a healthy weight, eat wholesome foods and don’t smoke.
- Manage any chronic health conditions.
How retirement communities help those with vision loss
Seniors with vision loss often feel isolated from family members and friends. They may be reluctant to participate in activities because seeing objects and faces may be difficult. They may also feel helpless at being dependent on others or fearful that they might fall.
The community life and staff support at retirement homes can help seniors with vision impairment gain confidence, remain active and interact with others. Social activities at retirement communities, managed by staff who are trained to assist vision-challenged residents, encourage them to communicate with others, thus improving their mental outlook and quality of life.
The staff at Country Meadows is well trained to support and communicate sensitively with vision-impaired seniors, whether they live in one of our assisted living and personal care homes, memory support neighborhoods or independent living communities. Our health-care team at each campus also ensures that residents with vision problems get the medical treatment they need.
If you or a family member is in need of a partner in health and are choosing a retirement community near you, we invite you to contact us. We can answer your questions and show you around any of our senior communities and introduce you to our full range of services. We have 10 Pennsylvania retirement homes—in Lancaster, Hershey, Mechanicsburg, Pittsburgh, Wyomissing, York-South, York-West, Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton, as well as a retirement community in Frederick, Maryland.
We would like to meet and talk with you about our health-focused, caring community and all of the services we can offer you or your loved one. Please contact us to request information or schedule a visit.