Learn about AOA’s advocacy, helpful resources for America’s aging eyes.

Keeping aging eyes in focus

Conventional wisdom assures us that "you're only as old as you feel." But as Americans grow increasingly older, it'll take more than a sprightly attitude to ensure healthy aging.

By 2030, the share of America's 65-and-older population will overshadow that of the 15-and-younger cohort for the first time in recorded history—the former eventually representing 21 percent of the total population versus the latter's 18 percent—and it begs the question: Are you an advocate for aging eyes?

"AOA remains committed to fighting on behalf of seniors and for policies that would help ensure greater access to regular, comprehensive eye exams performed by an eye doctor."

This Aug. 21 is National Senior Citizens Day, a federally declared observance that honors senior citizens' contributions and rekindles an important discussion on the issues directly affecting this age group. Older Americans face a host of unique challenges and concerns, including their health care, as outlined by the decennial White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) last year. And AOA stood up on behalf of Americans' eye care as part of that dialogue.

Earlier this year, the WHCOA final report language specifically mentioned the intersection of healthy aging and vision care, as well as gaps in Medicare coverage hindering this prospect. These were issues broached during a special summit on healthy aging at the 2015 AOA Congressional Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C., and also echoed in the AOA's own report to the WHCOA executive director.

That report vowed, "AOA remains committed to fighting on behalf of seniors and for policies that would help ensure greater access to regular, comprehensive eye exams performed by an eye doctor."

5 AOA resources for aging eyes

Senior citizens often have undiagnosed and untreated eye or vision problems that can lead to serious complications, including preventable falls, and greater access to doctors of optometry could lead to earlier detection, AOA notes. As doctors interact with their older patients on and around National Senior Citizens Day, here are several AOA resources that member doctors might find useful:

 
Click here to read the July 2015 AOA Focus feature article, "Advocates for Aging Eyes."

August 19, 2016

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