Objective: To explore the link between low vision and Activities of Daily Living (ADL) performance in cognitively intact nursing home residents.
Setting: A non-profit geriatric long-term care facility.
Subjects: 21 males, 82 females, aged 66-98.
Measures: Survey of 103 nursing home residents. ADL functioning assessed via Maryland Appraisal of Patient Progress (MAPP); medical data collected through chart review; ophthalmological data obtained through dilated eye examination by an ophthalmologist.
Results: In comparison with residents having good vision (n = 52), a significantly greater proportion of residents with low vision (n = 51) were dependent on caregivers for performing ADLs (eg, toileting, transferring, washing). Residents with low vision had significantly more eye pathology (eg, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration) than did residents with good vision. There were no significant differences between groups with regard to presence of musculoskeletal problems (eg, arthritis) or number of medical conditions (eg, cardiovascular disorder, cerebrovascular accident).
Conclusions: There is a strong link between low vision and ADL disability in nursing home residents. Moreover, ADL dependency is significantly related to the presence of eye disorders.