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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Elderly people need an eye examination before entering nursing homes

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INTRODUCTION: It is well documented that eye diseases develop with ageing and thus more elderly people have a visual handicap. It is important that the elderly are examined well, that they have the correct prescription and optimal aids. This is especially applicable to those residing in nursing homes.

METHOD: In this study, an eye examination was offered to all residents in 11 nursing homes. The examination was conducted by an optometrist who brought her own equipment. A medical history was recorded, an eye examination conducted, and the ophthalmologist assessed the records and evaluated the optical coherence tomography images. Personnel were given a questionnaire concerning their assessment of the residents' visual abilities.

RESULTS: Among 502 potential residents, 371 were examined, whereas 131 could not participate. A total of 22% were visually impaired, 13% socially blind and 13% were unable to cooperate. A total of 32% were well-described having correct optics, 15% were recommended glasses and 36% were referred to an ophthalmologist for further diagnostics or check-up. The most frequent cause of impaired vision was cataract and age-related macular degeneration. For many of the residents, no diagnosis was registered, and the staff had no knowledge of the cause of their resident's vision impairment. Furthermore, in one of every four cases, staff were unaware that the resident's vision was impaired.

CONCLUSION: It is recommended that everyone who is referred to a retirement home receives an eye examination and that nursing home staff are given relevant knowledge that will allow them to assist the residents in a proper way due to vision-related issues.

FUNDING: The study was funded by the Danish Association for the Blind and by Dag Lenards Fond.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: not relevant. .

Original languageEnglish
JournalDanish Medical Bulletin (Online)
Volume64
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)A5325
ISSN1603-9629
Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Research areas

  • Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Cataract, Female, Glaucoma, Health Personnel, Homes for the Aged, Humans, Intraocular Pressure, Macular Degeneration, Male, Middle Aged, Nursing Homes, Patient Admission, Refractive Errors, Surveys and Questionnaires, Vision Disorders, Vision Screening, Visual Acuity, Journal Article

ID: 52797087