236326 Healthy People 2020: Optometrists serving the elderly population living in nursing homes

Monday, October 31, 2011

Uzma Zumbrink, DHSc, MPH , Clinical & Practice Advancement Group, American Optometric Association, St. Louis, MO
Jasmine Yumori, OD, FAAO , College of Optometry, Western University of Health Sciences, Panoma, CA
Jeffrey L. Weaver, OD, MS , American Board of Optometry, St. Louis, MO
Timothy A. Wingert, OD , College of Optometry, University of Missouri-St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
Judith Gordon, PhD , Dept. Family & Community Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Joseph Visker, PhD , Department of Health & Exercise Science, Truman State University, Kirksville, MO
Basima Zumbrink , Truman State University, Kirksville, MO
Once admitted to a nursing home, not many residents receive any eye care. In the United States, geriatric eye care has been neglected at many levels. There is a higher prevalence rate of cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration among the aging population. Optometrists should be more involved in helping these people. Optometrists should also know Medicare and Medicaid polices before engaging in any nursing home facilities. There is a need for on-site eye care facility in every nursing home, where optometrists can provide their services on a regular basis. The government should provide more funding and support to optometrists, to encourage engagement in this growing profession. There is a need for a voice on Capitol Hill for passing geriatric eye care policies to improve the quality of life for our elderly population. In the Healthy People 2020 (HP2020) report, emphasis has been given to the elderly eye issue of age related macular degeneration which is the first time it has been included. Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in America. There is also a need for public awareness and understanding of the underlying causes of geriatric eye issues.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Program planning
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
This presentation analyzes the changes HP2020 Vision Objectives will bring to the profession of optometry.

Keywords: Access and Services, Nursing Homes

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an optometrist/vision scientist and served as AOA Clinical Care Director from 1997-2009, overseeing the HEHP program.
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.