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Marianne Coleman

Helping dementia-friendly eyecare to happen everywhere

Portrait of Dr Coleman
  • Award

    Travel Grant

  • Status

    In progress

  • Start Date

    1 March 2024

About the project

People living with dementia are less likely to access eyecare, and experience greater risk of preventable sight loss. The team conducted pioneering research to break down barriers to accessing dementia-friendly eyecare, finding that people with dementia and carers have mixed eye test experiences. Optometrists wanted to know more about dementia to help them provide high quality eyecare. To address this, the team developed an online training course about dementia-friendly eyecare for optometrists, informed by the team's research and guided by people with a lived or living experience of dementia (Dementia Advocates). Dementia-friendly eyecare should be available everywhere. However, many countries lack eyecare pathways that support people with dementia, and tailored dementia training for eyecare professionals. To develop global research impact, Dr Coleman will present the team's training course development, and share key messages from the research for an international audience at the 2024 Alzheimer’s Disease International Conference in Europe. 

The abstract is co-authored with Dementia Advocates, and will be co-presented. To maximise this travel opportunity, Dr Coleman will also present this work at UK eyecare training schools, reaching the next generation of eyecare professionals. The UK has a similar community eyecare model to Australia, and Dr Coleman has maintained strong links there. This travel fosters international collaborations to integrate dementia-friendly eyecare into future student training. 

Where are they now?

Dr Coleman continues to work as a Clinical Vision Research Fellow in a unique joint post between a not-for-profit public health optometry provider, the Australian College of Optometry, and the University of Melbourne’s Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences.

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Last updated
27 March 2024