Vision Health Needs to Be Promoted in Aging Population

Michael Hodin, PhD , CEO of the Global Coalition on Aging, issued a call to action to address widespread poor vision and barriers to eye health in the aging population at the Prevent Blindness Focus on Eye Health National Summit in Washington.

There are 253 million people worldwide with visual impairments, and 81% of those individuals are 50 years or older, according to Hodin.

“The latest data across all OECD countries, which includes the United States, is that 73% of those who are surveyed between ages of roughly late 50s and early to mid 60s, around what had become traditional retirement in the last century, wanted to keep working,” Hodin said. “With vision impairment that becomes harder, but let’s make sure that all of us are producers in society rather than costs, unless it is absolutely necessary. But with a focus on earlier detection … better prevention strategies and better treatment, we can get to a place where we have a life course of healthy vision.”

Diversifying infrastructure and creating age-friendly cities to meet vision health demands are also necessary, Kira Baldonado, vice president of public health and policy at Prevent Blindness, said.

Baldonado said that the Center for Vision and Population Health was created to empower key stakeholders to acknowledge and integrate better vision and eye health with the goal of improving quality of life.

“Vision is taken for granted, and we think it’s going to be there until it’s gone, so we have to think about it well before that, and we have to make it part of our vernacular in our society,” Baldonado said. “When there’s a diagnosis of a vision impairment that cannot be helped, we need to make sure that that rest of the system is engaged and we connect people to the care, to the resources, the adaptive devices that are going to help them maintain a higher quality of life.”

Source: Healio

Latest Developments

We keep our members and partners in touch with the most recent updates and opinions in the worldwide dialogue on population longevity and related issues.

Ignoring the ‘Silver Economy’ May Be Getting Costly for Brands

In an ad for Airbnb that premiered earlier this year, a couple checks into a cozy Spanish villa. To the tune of Jay-Z's cover of "Me and My Girlfriend," the ad shows the pair settling into their rental and setting their collective dial to chill. They play ping-pong, sip some wine, and get ready for a night on the town. They're also in their 80s, celebrating their 57th wedding anniversary. In no way does the ad characterize the couple as elderly or portray them as needing special aid or services — they are just active people who happen to be old. It's a rare example of ads featuring a realistic depiction of aging.

Health Equity Promise and That Innovation Thing

President Biden has pledged his administration to defeat cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases that target America’s aging population. To achieve these lofty goals, bold words must be backed up by bold actions.

Roundtable Report Highlights Importance of Immunizing Canada’s Caregivers Against Influenza, Identifying Challenges and Opportunities to Protect This Critical Group

The Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) today released a report summarizing key insights from an expert roundtable on vaccinating Canada’s caregivers against influenza. The roundtable, held virtually, brought together leading Canadian health policy experts, family caregivers, patient advocacy groups, aging experts, and other thought leaders to discuss challenges and strategies to reach this critically important yet hard-to-reach group.

Women, Work, Wellness, and That Aging Thing…

The OECD Forum’s virtual event Women at The Frontline of the Recovery will presciently focus attention among policymakers and the public stakeholders alike on the unique relationship between the age demographic mega-trend and the essential policies needed for OECD economies to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Headlines of the Future Podcast: Decoding Healthy Aging

How can advancements in science and medicine make it possible for individuals to enjoy greater health and activity in their later years? For health leaders and organizations such as the Global Coalition on Aging, ensuring individuals can truly shine in their "Golden Years" is a matter of revisiting education and communication strategies, advancing digital health technologies and expanding access to healthcare innovation.

Longer Lifespans Require Secure Financial Futures

As many as half of 5-year-olds in the United States can now expect to live to 100, a population that is projected to swell in the decades ahead. Longer lifespans don’t guarantee a financially secure later life, however. If anything, in the absence of significant planning, extreme longevity may make financial security harder to attain.