Breaking down barriers to accessing dementia-friendly eyecare
Poor eyesight makes living with dementia harder. Regular eye tests are vital to detect and treat poor eyesight. If not adapted to accommodate their needs, eye tests can be challenging or distressing for people with dementia, and caregivers supporting them. Our research aims to improve the experience of receiving eyecare (having an eye test and following eyecare advice), for people with dementia and family caregivers supporting them. Having good eyesight helps people with dementia maintain their independence, and live at home for longer. We will speak with people with dementia, family caregivers (both supported by a skilled interviewer) and eyecare professionals. This captures views of receiving, supporting and delivering an eye test. The research lasts two years. 60 people will take part, including 20 people with dementia. People with dementia and caregivers will guide our research, ensuring information we provide and questions we ask are relevant and clear. We will share our findings with them, to identify key messages informing:
• Information cards about dementia-friendly eye tests and eyecare, for people with dementia and caregivers, available at dementia cafes and day centres.
• Training for eyecare professionals, about delivering dementia-friendly eyecare. This makes it easier to seek and receive dementia-friendly eyecare.
Dr Coleman is a Clinical Vision Research Fellow, working between the National Vision Research Institute at the Australian College of Optometry, and the Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences at the University of Melbourne.