Vision Loss and the Senior Population: A Top Public Health Priority
By: Kate Grathwol, Ph.D., President and CEO of Vision Loss Resources
The prevalence of eye diseases in an aging population is a major public health concern identified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As our population ages, with the number of Minnesotans over age 65 almost doubling by 2030 , the effects of age-related vision loss will be difficult to ignore: including loss of independence, increasing incident of isolation and depression, and other negative health outcomes. Learn how vision rehabilitation can help people age in place. By learning techniques and tools, seniors can adapt to vision loss and live more independently.
1. Identify causes and effects of vision loss in seniors.
2. Summarize why vision rehabilitation is an essential part of the landscape of services for seniors.
3. Know how Vision Loss Resources and other vision rehabilitation services can assist participants in helping their senior clients live independently with vision loss.
Kate Grathwol, Ph.D., President and CEO of Vision Loss Resources
Vision Loss Resources is a community-based organization that has provided services, skills training, and support to people with vision loss for over 100 years. Vision Loss Resources works in partnership with optometrists and ophthalmologists, in-home care professionals, senior health care specialists, and other health care resources to address age-related eye diseases, the primary cause of vision loss in the population served by Vision Loss Resources.
Kate’s history of health care innovation is fundamental to Vision Loss Resources’ direction. She has fifteen years of clinical experience working with blind and visually-impaired adults and children. Before joining Vision Loss Resources as a Community Specialist in 2004, she served as Manager of the Vision Rehabilitation Center at the Phillips Eye Institute. Kate has an M.S. in Vision Rehabilitation from Pennsylvania College of Optometry and a Ph.D. in Health Services from Walden University. Kate has been CEO of Vision Loss Resources since 2008. She is a nationally-recognized instructor of professional educational seminars in the area of vision loss and age-related eye disease.
This article is a good introduction to the prevalence of vision loss in the aging population:
“Visual impairment, blindness cases in U.S. expected to double by 2050.” National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health. May 19, 2016.
Practical resources about age-related vision loss, for seniors and caregivers: