Low rates of eye care utilization among visually impaired subsidized senior housing residents

Academic Article


  • Objective: To examine the rate of self-reported vision impairment, eye disease, and eye care utilization among residents of subsidized senior housing (SSH) communities. Methods: In this cross-sectional, observational study, residents of 14 SSH communities in Jefferson County, AL, USA self-reported their vision status and eye care utilization as part of vision screening events held in their community. Results: Two hundred and thirty-seven residents self-reported their vision status, presence of eye disease, and eye care utilization. A third of participants (33.3%) reported difficulty with distance vision while 38% reported difficulty with near vision. Rates of eye disease among this sample were as follows: 40.3% reported having cataracts, 13.6% reported having glaucoma, 4.2% reported having age-related macular degeneration, and 5.5% reported having diabetic retinopathy. The majority of participants (52.8%) had not been to see an eye care provider within the last year. Persons with vision impairment were less likely to report having seen an eye care provider within the last year than those without impairment (p =.03). Conclusion: This study illuminates the low utilization of eye care among socioeconomically disadvantaged older adults residing in SSH, especially among those with vision impairment and eye disease. Vision-related health care is important in maintaining both physical and mental health in older adults.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Elliott AF; Heskett M; Spiker C; McGwin G; Owsley C
  • Start Page

  • 360
  • End Page

  • 366
  • Volume

  • 25
  • Issue

  • 2