When scheduling monthly activities, most of us think about what residents need to make their lives better, and more fulfilling. What we often forget is just how many aspects of our residents lives the statement covers. In a recent study that was conducted at the University of Alabama, they found that two thirds of nursing home residents do not get regular eye exams, even though about half of them have eye problems. Think about that! That is a LOT of residents basically being neglected.
Being able to see is one function that helps the elderly be a little more independent in their lives, which in turn gives them a better quality of life.
So- what can you do as an Activities Director to combat this problem? Schedule an eye exam day, or afternoon. Make this a time that each resident can come and speak with an eye doctor. Making this activity come to fruition is quite simple. All it requires is a phone call, and the availability of some extra space! It is that easy! Look up eye doctors in your area. Call one and see if they would be willing to come by for a half day and view different patients. Most doctors will not be able to bring their major equipment with them, but the will still be able to determine in a short sit down meeting if the resident is in need of further assessments in an office visit, or if there is something more simple that can be adjusted or fixed that day. Use this afternoon as a stepping stone to getting them proper eye care. The eye doctor will see their own business will benefit as well, as most elderly patients stick with the same doctor once they have built a good rapport with them. This is a win/win situation for everyone!
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