Research Summary

Impact of intervention for avoidable visual impairment among the Elderly Population in Residential Care in and around Hyderabad, India

Visual impairment (VI) is a public health challenge affecting millions of people worldwide. Over 80% of the VI is prevalent among those aged ≥ 50 years and nearly 80% of it caused due to uncorrected refractive errors and cataract, both of which are avoidable. VI in elderly affects all dimensions of their life such as mobility, self-care, and participation in social and religious activities, general health and in overall quality of life.

The proportion of the elderly in India is on the rise. Socio-demographics such as increasing urbanization, rural to urban migration for employment opportunities and changing social expectations regarding intra-family obligations are threatening the traditional joint family-based system. As a consequence of these, the proportion of the elderly living alone or only with their spouses is also increasing. An increase in the number of homes for the elderly is seen in many urban locations in India.

My research aims to investigate the burden of VI among elderly in residential care and assesses the impact of interventions on the visual functions.  The outcomes of my research can provide insights into the current situation to enable health policy formulation and the planning of services to contribute towards ‘healthy aging’ in these populations.

Figure Legend: The Study Overview – Visual Impairment among elderly in residential care