Too many older people falling due to poor eye sight

Kamlesh Chauhan is President of the College of Optometrists 

It may seem obvious to some that there is a strong link between how well you can see and your chances of suffering a fall, especially as you get older. Yet our new research has revealed that it’s not so obvious to almost a third (32%) of people in the UK with parents over the age 65.

Up to one in three people over 65 will experience a fall each year so it is not surprising that nearly half of those who took part in our research said they had an older friend, parent or relative who had fallen. However, it is surprising, and worrying, that fewer than three per cent of people questioned said their parents’ deteriorating eyesight was a cause for concern.

The financial and human repercussions of falls are significant: Age UK estimates that the cost to the NHS of treating older people who have suffered a fall is up to £4.6m a day, and suffering a fall can seriously reduce quality of life as the chances of a full recovery reduce with age. Tragically, in some cases a fall can be fatal.  Continue reading

Blind Veterans UK – No One Alone campaign

Blind Veterans UK provide their members with practical and emotional support, helping them to recover their independence and discover a life beyond sight loss.blindveteranslogo[1]

Last autumn Blind Veterans UK (formerly St Dunstan’s) launched the No One Alone campaign, which aims to raise awareness amongst the general public that there are more than 68,000 National Service and Armed Forces veterans in the UK who are currently battling blindness and severe sight problems.

These are people that Blind Veterans UK can help in very practical and supportive ways that will enable them to start to live a more independent life again, and relieve pressure on their friends and families as well as on overstretched health resources.  Many people are referred to Blind Veterans UK through a healthcare professional, such as doctors, nurses, carers, or opticians. So if you are currently looking after or caring for a blinded or partially-sighted older person, or if you come into contact with them in the course of your daily life, please just ask them: “Have you ever served in the Armed Forces?” or “Did you do National Service?”
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