201250 Vision and Aging Toolkit: A new tool for health educators to raise awareness of eye health among older adults

Monday, November 9, 2009: 9:00 AM

Catherine Anthony-Gonzalez, BA , ICF Macro, Rockville, MD
Neyal J. Ammary-Risch, MPH, MCHES , National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
Harry T. Kwon, PhD, MPH, CHES , Macro International Inc., Rockville, MD
Older adults are one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. population. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that by 2030, one in five U.S. residents will be aged 65 or older. As people advance in age, normal functions of the eye tissues decrease and risk of eye disease increases. Age-related eye diseases (i.e., diabetic retinopathy, cataract, glaucoma, or macular degeneration) are common in the older adult population. By 2020, the number of people who are blind or have low vision is expected to double. However, in many cases, vision loss and blindness from age-related eye diseases can often be prevented. The National Eye Health Education Program of the National Eye Institute (NEI) recognizes the importance of strengthening the capacity of community-based organizations to deliver eye health education programs. NEI is developing the Vision and Aging toolkit to provide health educators and other health professionals with tools and guidance for informing older adults about eye health, eye diseases and conditions, and the importance of eye examinations. Early detection and timely treatment of eye disease are key to preventing vision loss and blindness. Health educators can use this toolkit to educate about vision changes that can occur with age and the importance of eye health and need for regular eye exams in small group settings in their community. This presentation will provide detailed information about the toolkit, discuss the process that was taken in developing the toolkit, and raise awareness about the educational resources that are available through NEI.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss background information on older adults and age-related eye diseases. Describe a new toolkit available to health educators who work with older adults to educate about eye health and eye disease. Describe educational resources available from the National Eye Health Education Program of the National Eye Institute.

Keywords: Aging, Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked with NEI foor the last two years. I have been working along with them for the past year in developing this toolkit for the last year.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.