Editorial  |   May 2013
Effectiveness of Occupational Therapy Interventions for Older Adults Living With Low Vision
Author Affiliations
  • Sue Berger, PhD, OTR/L, BCG, FAOTA, is Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Boston University College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College, 635 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215; sueb@bu.edu
Article Information
Geriatrics/Productive Aging / Vision / From the Desk of the Guest Editor
Editorial   |   May 2013
Effectiveness of Occupational Therapy Interventions for Older Adults Living With Low Vision
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May/June 2013, Vol. 67, 263-265. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.007203
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May/June 2013, Vol. 67, 263-265. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.007203
An 85-yr-old woman with macular degeneration struggles to read the daily newspaper, an important part of her morning routine. A 78-yr-old man with glaucoma recently gave up attending his weekly bowling league. These two older adults, along with millions of other older adults, are trying to adapt to a life with vision loss. Recent data have shown that 1 in 6 Americans older than age 70 are living with low vision (Dillon, Gu, Hoffman, & Ko, 2010), and that number is expected to double by 2030 (Congdon et al., 2004).
According to an American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA; 2010) workforce study, more than 35% of occupational therapy practitioners work in acute care hospitals, long-term care environments, and home health, settings that meet the needs of clients ages 65 or older. All occupational therapy practitioners working with older adults, not just those who choose to specialize in low vision rehabilitation, must understand the influence of visual impairment on participation. Impairments at the body structure and body function level often cause a decrease in occupational performance. Similar to weakness or paralysis, a decrease in vision can significantly influence one’s ability to engage in desired occupations.
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