Browse By Topic: Aging

National Teleconference Addresses How Medicare Might Provide Coverage for Low Vision Devices

  As reported by Maureen Duffy in a recent VisionAware blog post, the American Foundation for the Blind hosted a national teleseminar on October 4 to discuss this critical topic. Approximately 200 people across the nation participated to hear what the panelists (listed below) had to say and to make their own comments about the need for coverage and what that coverage should look like. Panelists


During Healthy Aging Month, Learn More About Older Adult Eye Health and Low Vision from the National Eye Institute

According to the United States National Eye Institute, "Older adults are at higher risk for certain eye diseases and conditions, including age-related macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic eye disease, glaucoma,


Re-Imagining Health Care for the 21st Century: With Value and Access for All?

By Ann Pilewskie, AFB Public Policy Intern, guest blogger Health Care. Such loaded words these days. ACA, AHCA, BCRA, Private Insurance, Medicaid, Medicarewhat does all of this mean? Of course, it means different things to different people. If you are covered by your employer, generally that is a good thing. If you are covered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), for those who never had insurance for a multitude of reasons, it is a good thing. For those whose premiums have skyrocketed, pay large


Protect Amtrak: An Important Part of Our Transportation Infrastructure

Editor's Note: In our Independence Day post, we discussed the 21st Century Agenda on Aging and Vision Loss and the first goal of increasing funding for services to maximize independence for older persons with vision loss. In today's post, we cover one of the initiatives of goal three of the Agenda, the need for good and available transportation for all phases of life as noted in this quote from


What Does Independence Really Mean to Older Persons Experiencing Vision Loss?

We are celebrating our independence as a nation this week. We indeed have much to celebrate as we our flag flows proud and free, and we sing our nation’s anthem (in my case slightly off key)! Taking this to a personal level, the VisionAware peer advisors have addressed this theme in a series on independence. How Independent Do You Want to Be? Peer Advisor DeAnna Noriega raised this question saying, the training, tools, and


Taking It to the Streets: Make the 21st Century Agenda on Aging and Vision Loss Happen on a Local Level

As highlighted in a post in May regarding critical issues for older persons with vision loss, AFB has joined with other advocates in a renewed 21st Century Agenda on Aging and Vision Loss. Why is this important? Check out the facts.    Building the Case As laid out in the www.afb.org/aging, the Agenda's web page, older adults


New Research: Emotional Support and Physician Communication Must Accompany Medical Treatment for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Although the advent of anti-VEGF therapy (explained below), administered via eye injection with Lucentis, Eylea, or Avastin, has revolutionized the treatment (but not cure) of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), there remain a number of challenges associated with


H.R.2050: The Medicare Demonstration of Coverage of Low Vision Devices Act of 2017 Needs Your Advocacy and Support

Dome of the U.S. Capitol The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) Public Policy Center has announced the reintroduction of federal legislation that seeks to establish a nationwide Medicare demonstration project to evaluate the fiscal impact of a permanent change in Medicare coverage that would, for the first time, provide reimbursement for low vision devices. The AFB Public Policy Center, in Washington, DC, collaborates with policy


American Foundation for the Blind Leadership Conference Recap: Some Critical Issues for Older Persons with Vision Loss

Guest blogger Kay McGill (pictured at left recording a Public Service Announcement) is the manager of Project Independence: Georgia Vision Program for Adults Age 55 and Over. The Georgia Vision Program is administered by the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency and provides the following services to people who are at least 55 years old and have vision loss or a combined vision and hearing loss: comprehensive


New Glaucoma Research from the United Kingdom: Could a Glaucoma Treatment also Help Prevent Alzheimer's Disease?

Two recent United Kingdom-based eye research projects have begun to explore potential (but not yet proven) links between retinal disease and beta-amyloid proteins that accumulate in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease. The first project, from the University of Southampton, England, investigated the potential role of beta-amyloid protein in the development of macular degeneration. The second project (explained below), from researchers at University


New Research: Can Proteins that Characterize Alzheimer's Disease Contribute to an Understanding of Macular Degeneration?

A retina with wet AMD New research from the University of Southampton, England is investigating the mechanisms that contribute to the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – particularly the presence of the beta-amyloid proteins that also accumulate in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease. According to study co-author Arjuna Ranayaka, Ph.D., "We know that AMD is caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle risk factors, but this novel discovery could open up new


Interested in Aging and Vision Loss? Your Vote Counts

Are you concerned about aging and vision loss? Are you or someone you know older and visually impaired? If so, as you go to the polls to vote, you may want to think about the presidential candidates and their stances on aging and disability. You may also want to think about the stances of your legislative candidates. Why is this important? Research tells us that 6.1 million adults ages 65 and older experience vision lossthat’s 13.5% of the population. For those 85 and up, the percentage increases to 22.3%. And the numbers are increasing rapidly as our population ages. <img src="http://www.afb.org/image.asp?ImageID=7208" alt="older


The Medicare Rights Center Answers Your Medicare Questions

by Joe Baker, Medicare Rights Center staff On October 15, open enrollment begins for Medicare recipients. This can be a very confusing time. You can get help from The Medicare Rights Center, a national, nonprofit consumer service organization. This organization works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs and public policy initiatives. The Center works tirelessly to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through its counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives. Medicare Rights is the largest and most


New Research: The Number of Older Americans with Visual Impairment or Blindness Is Expected To Double By 2050

According to new demographic research addressing blindness, vision impairment, and low vision, the number of older Americans who have visual impairments or are blind is projected to double by 2050. This important – and urgent – research, entitled Visual Impairment and Blindness in Adults in the United States: Demographic and Geographic Variations from 2015 to 2050, has been published "online first" in the May 19, 2016 edition of JAMA


The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) 21st Century Agenda on Aging and Vision Loss Is Moving Forward!

The 21st Century Agenda on Aging and Vision Loss: Some Background AFB began a "national conversation" on aging and vision loss over a year ago in anticipation of the 2015 White House Conference on Aging. As noted in our post on the outcome of the conference, AFB and other stakeholders have been extremely concerned that aging and vision loss issues have not been addressed in any significant way on a national level: "Older persons with vision problems should not be sidelined or forgotten because of their inability to engage – due to


Aging in America: Women at Risk for Vision Problems

by Mary E. Worstell, MPH Editor's note: Guest blogger Mary E. Worstell, MPH, is Senior Advisor, Office on Women's Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services. Ms. Worstell recently spoke on a panel at the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) Leadership Conference and at a recent teleconference on the 21st Century Agenda on Vision Loss and Aging. She spoke to the health and disability disparities represented by seniors with vision loss and the need for collaborative efforts to improve services for older persons with vision loss. She encouraged our community to "be proactive and at the


During Older Americans Month 2016, AFB Initiates the 21st Century National Agenda on Aging and Vision Loss

This year, the theme for Older Americans Month is "Blaze a Trail." During Older Americans Month 2016, the Administration for Community Living is using this opportunity to raise awareness about important issues facing older adults and to show the ways that older Americans are advocating for themselves, their peers, and their communities. In addition, VisionAware is highlighting the American Academy of Ophthalmology's new resource, Eye Care for Older


Meet Rebecca Sheffield, Ph.D., Senior Policy Researcher, American Foundation for Blind Public Policy Center

Rebecca Sheffield, Ph.D., is a Senior Policy Researcher with the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. The AFB Public Policy Center collaborates with policy makers in Congress and the Executive Branch to ensure that Americans with vision loss have equal rights and opportunities to fully participate in society. She also authors two important and helpful Public Policy Center publications:


New Research: Stepped Care for Coping with Age-Related Vision Loss, Depression, and Anxiety

New research from Europe indicates that stepped care – a type of treatment that can offer self-help and "as needed" options for coping with age-related vision loss and depression – can offer promise in dealing with depression and anxiety in visually impaired older adults. Further, this stepped care approach (detailed below) could lead to standardized strategies for the screening, monitoring, treatment, and referral of visually impaired older adults with vision-related depression and anxiety. From the British Medical Journal (BMJ) The research, entitled


AFB Press Releases New Edition of Making Life More Livable: Simple Adaptations for Living at Home after Vision Loss

by Mary D'Apice, VisionAware Contributing Writer An interview with Maureen A. Duffy, CVRT, Author Making Life More Livable Agencies that provide services to people who are blind or visually impaired offer vision rehabilitation to the 5.3 million Americans over 65 with


A Summary of the White House Conference on Aging Issues and Initiatives: Part One

Guest blogger Priscilla Rogers, Ph.D. is the Program Manager for VisionAware and co-author of Aging and Vision Loss: A Handbook for Families. Her other works include Self-Advocacy Skills Training for Older Individuals Who Are Visually Impaired and Solutions for Success: A Training Manual for Working with Older People Who Are Visually Impaired. She has an M.A. degree in gerontology and a Ph.D. in special education with an emphasis in vision and aging. The 2015 White House Conference on


Meet Dr. Gregory Goodrich, Chair of the Upcoming Conference on Vision Loss in Older Adults and Veterans

Dr. Gregory Goodrich received his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology in 1974 from Washington State University, when he also began his career with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He retired in 2014 after having served as supervisory research psychologist assigned to the Western


Calling All Advocates: White House Conference on Aging Set for July 13, 2015

Guest blogger Priscilla Rogers, Ph.D. is the Program Manager for VisionAware and co-author of Aging and Vision Loss: A Handbook for Families. Her other works include Self-Advocacy Skills Training for Older Individuals Who Are Visually Impaired and Solutions for Success: A Training Manual for Working with Older People Who Are Visually Impaired. She has an M.A. degree in gerontology and a Ph.D. in special education with an emphasis in vision and aging. The 2015 White House Conference on


Preparing for the 2015 White House Conference on Aging: Highlights of the Phoenix Conversation on Aging and Vision Loss

On April 8, 2015, a large group of older individuals with vision loss, family members, service providers, eye care specialists, policy makers, and researchers gathered in the same room in Phoenix, Arizona, during the American Foundation for the Blind Leadership Conference. The purpose of the gathering was to hold a “conversation about aging and visual impairment” to discuss issues to be raised at the upcoming White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) to be held in July, 2015. White House Conference to Be Held July, 2015 How fitting that the conference will be held in


91-year-old Inventor with Visual Impairment Designs for Her Generation

91-year-old Barbara Beskind is the toast of Silicon Valley as well the toast of the media, with interviews on National Public Radio and the Today Show. In the high tech industry where youth reigns, Beskind has a coveted job as a designer at IDEO, a world-renowned consulting firm perhaps most famous for designing the first Apple mouse. Beskind is living her dream, though it was a dream deferred. As a resourceful 8-year-old during the Depression, Beskind built a


The White House Conference on Aging Offers Great Opportunity for Input Regarding Older Americans with Visual Impairment

By Rebecca Sheffield, Ph.D, Senior Policy Researcher, AFB and Alberta Orr, MSW, gerontologist and faculty, Hunter College. The 2015 White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) will mark the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security. The White House Conference on Aging has been held once a decade, beginning in 1961, and is designed to help chart the course of aging policy. The 2015 WHCOA is an opportunity to look ahead to the issues that will help shape the landscape for older Americans for the next decade. Key issues to be the focus of the Conference are: Retirement


Meet Nancy D. Miller, CEO of VISIONS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired in New York City

Ms. Nancy D. Miller, LMSW, began working with people of all ages who are blind, visually impaired, and multi-disabled in 1971. Since 1987, she has been Executive Director/CEO of VISIONS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired, an 88-year-old vision rehabilitation and social service organization in New York City. Ms. Miller has a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Cornell University, a Master of Science degree in Social Work from Columbia University, and is a New York State licensed social worker. In


What's So Wrong with "Elderspeak," Anyway? Answer: Everything

Hypocorisma: It's the bane of older adulthood. What is hypocorisma, you ask? Here is a helpful (and perceptive) definition from Maeve Maddox at the excellent Daily Writing Tips blog: Hypocorisma is a type of euphemism derived from a Greek word meaning "pet name." The English word hypocorism may be defined as "the diminutive or otherwise altered version of a given name." The use of diminutives and pet names is usually an indication of affection or intimacy, but sometimes hypocorisma is used to diminish, infantilize, or insult. For example, the


Could the Loss of an Anti-Aging Gene Contribute to Wet and Dry Macular Degeneration?

A team of researchers has determined that the loss of a particular anti-aging, or aging-suppressor, gene – known as Klotho protein (KL) – induces retinal deterioration in mice and may contribute to both wet and dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The KL gene helps to protect against oxidative stress, which causes dry AMD, and inhibits harmful blood vessel growth in the eye, which is the primary cause of


The State of Vision, Aging, and Public Health in America: How Are We Doing?

Last weekend I was privileged to attend a professional meeting with a number of vision colleagues, one of whom was the prominent health scientist Dr. John Crews. John E. Crews, DPA, is a Health Scientist with the Vision Health Initiative of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Crews' specialties are vision impairment and aging, caregiving, and disability; his research


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