Elderly eyes and domiciliary eye care: managing the challenges, improving care

This article provides high-level summary information on the changing demographics of the ageing population and associated disability.

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Ageing poses many challenges at both individual and societal level. Healthcare professionals, including optometrists, need to equip themselves with the knowledge and skills to manage elderly patients with complex systemic and ophthalmic conditions which may exist in isolation or in combination.

The UK population is ageing and demographic changes mean that care for the elderly places significant demands on health and social care systems. The associations of ageing and disability, and ageing and vision impairment, are important in considering these increased demands. Many large-scale population studies have identified the main causes of visual impairment in the ageing population. Evidence on how the ‘duo’ of visual impairment and disability can impact on a person’s ability to live independently and on that person’s quality of life is reported in this article and information is presented on the prevalence and causes of visual impairment in people living in the care home setting.

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