While the optometric profession and individual clinicians are aware of the aging population and need for optometric care for this segment of the population, vision in aging is often thought of in terms of ocular disease and low vision. However, the clinical care of older adults requires an interdisciplinary approach and the clinical application of a unique, broad body of knowledge and skills to address the complex eye care needs of the aging adult. This includes knowledge of the disease-related and normal age-related changes to the human visual system, as well as the main systemic and neurodegenerative diseases affecting this population. The Vision in Aging SIG provides a forum for discussion, education, advancement of learning, and application of new knowledge of aging and clinical care of older adults as it applies to optometry.
The goals of the Vision in Aging SIG are to promote:
- Knowledge of vision and aging.
- Skill and interest in the optometric clinical management of older adults.
- Eye care for older adults, both within and outside the profession of optometry.
To further these goals, we promote discussion of research needs and the dissemination and application of knowledge from research on vision and aging within the Academy. We also educate others regarding current best clinical practice for older adults and identify new clinical trends to improve the optometric clinical care of older adults and develop the field of geriatrics as it applies to optometry.
This is achieved by:
- Providing a forum for discussion of future areas of research by offering symposia.
- Encouraging continuing education offerings by collaborating with Sections and other SIGs.
- Developing links with geriatricians and gerontologists from other disciplines.
- Surveying current curriculum trends.
- Making recommendations regarding curricula and standards of clinical competency in geriatric optometry/gerontology.
- Advocating for eye care for older adults both within and outside the profession of optometry.