Low vision in the geriatric population: rehabilitation and management

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2001 Mar;49(3):317-30. doi: 10.1046/j.1532-5415.2001.4930317.x.


Older persons represent the fastest growing segment of individuals with visual impairments in industrialized countries. This population is expected to grow dramatically in the coming years. This article discusses the common age-related changes in vision and the most prevalent visual impairments associated with aging, and the resulting functional implications. It includes information for health care professionals about preparing an older person to benefit from low-vision rehabilitation services, environmental evaluations and modifications, and orientation to the environment. The importance of functional assessment and instruction in the use of visual skills and vision devices is stressed. The article also emphasizes the need for teamwork to provide a full scope of rehabilitation services to older adults with low vision, and the importance of support by family members and caregivers to maximize coping, adjustment, independence and quality of life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Eye Diseases / complications*
  • Eye Diseases / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Geriatrics
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Social Support
  • Vision, Low / etiology*
  • Vision, Low / psychology
  • Vision, Low / rehabilitation*