By Robert Smolin
More than 25 million elderly people are predicted to have vision problems by 2050, according to the American Health Care Association. With eye disease and related issues on the rise, those challenges must take center stage in long-term care settings.
According to Dr. Rohit Varma, professor of ophthalmology at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, the economic burden alone from these problems is estimated at well over $130 billion. The loss of independence and the quality of life is significant, he says. Dr. Varma also recommends more aggressive vision screening, not only for elders but also for younger patients over age 40. This is important, he says, for early diagnosis and treatment of conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Good vision, including up-to date eyeglass prescriptions, also can help prevent falls and other accidents. By 2025, researchers for AHCA estimate that 8 million American will have the wrong eyeglasses, and 3 million will have glaucoma or macular degeneration.
At New Community Extended Care Facility, we have partnered with Dr. Robert Sholomon, a board certified ophthalmologist who specializes in treating the elderly and their vision problems.
Ensuring that patients can see well and have appropriate prescriptions for their eyeglasses can be challenging, especially if they have some form of cognitive impairment.
“Good vision is essential to prevent falls and other problems and to ensure quality of life,” Dr. Sholomon said. He and his team of eye doctors visit the residents at New Community Extended Care frequently and provide quality care. Dr. Sholomon helps us ensure regular vision exams for our residents, including tests for cataracts and glaucoma.
Robert Smolin is the facility administrator of New Community Extended Care Facility, a five-star rated skilled nursing home located at 266 South Orange Ave. in Newark. For more information, call 973-624-2020.