Why Seniors Should Get Eye Exams

senior eye exams

When it comes to healthy aging, quite honestly, there’s a lot to do. You’re supposed to make sure to keep your body active and your brain engaged all while maintaining your social connections as well. Sure, the benefits to your overall well-being are worth the effort, but retirement is supposed to be a time with less responsibility on your plate, right? Well, it turns out that in senior living you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here’s how programs like our Vivid Life make keeping active, engaged, and connected easy and fun! 

Benefits of Healthy Aging 

Good things happen when you focus on healthy aging. In addition to feeling better overall, which in and of itself is a win, other benefits of keeping active, engaged, and connected include:  

  • Improved ability to do everyday things ​ 
  • Reduced impact of illness and chronic disease​ 
  • Enhanced mobility, flexibility, and balance
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy level
  • Reduced feelings of depression and stress
  • Increased feelings of happiness and self-confidence
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline 
  • Increased mental adaptability and cognitive reserve 
  • Improved memory recall and problem-solving skills 
  • Improved concentration and attention to detail  

How Senior Living Can Help 

At home, particularly when living alone, it can be hard to stay as active, engaged, and connected as you’d like. From lack of opportunity to lack of motivation to lack of transportation to mobility challenges, and more, it’s tough, we get it! That’s why we created the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. It’s composed of three parts: Vibrant Body, Vibrant Brain, and Vibrant Connections. Here’s what each entails:  

Vibrant Body We offer amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, walking trails, gardening opportunities, and even a dog park to help you stay active. A sample of activities includes:  

  • Walking club – Daily walks at different outdoor locations using pedometers to measure steps. 
  • Yoga – At least once per week for gentle yoga, and once per week for mindful breathing. 
  • Fitness classes – At least two times per week using a variety of hand weights, resistance bands, and circuit-type exercises. 
  • Tai Chi – At least once per week with a live instructor. 
  • Non-traditional exercise – Dancing, gardening, etc. at least two times per week. 
  • Physical games and sports – Golf, putting, bowling, croquet, bocce, and ping pong available daily with organized events one to two times per week. 

Vibrant Brain We offer monthly calendars filled with classes, events, creative arts, and enrichment opportunities to help keep you engaged. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Visiting lecture series – Twice per month with topics such as cultural, historical, local interest, career-oriented, etc. 
  • Creative art series – At least one per week with a theme that runs 3-6 weeks, such as poetry writing, storytelling, painting, digital photography, etc. 
  • Learning series – At least three times per month with an emphasis on learning something new such as foreign language, sign language, technology, hobbies, etc. 
  • Games – At least one time per week and may include poker, bridge, Scrabble, etc. 
  • Mindfulness – A meditation class once per week and gratitude discussion group twice monthly. 
  • Church service – At least once a week through visits by local churches. 
  • Stress reduction – At least once per month class that offers deep breathing exercises, nature walks, music appreciation, spa-type treatments, etc. 

 Vibrant Connections We offer resident-led clubs, social events, outings and volunteer opportunities for any interest to help you stay connected. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Outings – At least twice per month and may include going to concerts, art shows, museum visits, theatre productions, etc. 
  • Intergenerational programming – At least once per month and focuses on building relationships between young adults/children and residents. 
  • New resident welcome party – At least once per month to formally introduce all new residents, and includes ice breakers, social games, etc. to encourage connection. 
  • Philanthropic program – At least once per month provide residents the opportunity to give back to the community, such as volunteering for a local food bank or pet shelter. 
  • Resident-led clubs – May include game clubs, professional clubs, common interests, etc. that meet at least monthly.  

What’s more, it’s all right outside your door (or transportation is provided offsite) and all in a supportive environment with home maintenance, housekeeping, and restaurant-style dining freeing your time to make it even easier to stay active, engaged, and connected. 

Learn more about Vitality Living’s Vivid Life programs. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour. 



Health and wellness are a top priority as you age, though some areas of your overall health may need more attention than others. Understanding the importance of your eye health and protecting your vision is a crucial part of the aging process. When hearing about the importance of doing simple things such as going to an annual eye exam, understanding the weight of those exams, and what can come from them will help ensure your eyes are healthy and manageable. Here are some reasons why seniors should receive annual eye exams to support their eye health. 

Eye disease comes with age

While having conditions like nearsightedness or farsightedness can come in your youth, there are also certain eye conditions that come with age. Though some are curable, others are only treatable, so it is important to know the signs and symptoms of many common eye diseases to ensure detection early on. Here are some of the conditions:

  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration- This eye disease is also known as AMD and it affects the central vision of the eye. Some common symptoms of AMD are blurry or fuzzy vision, straight lines appearing wavy, and dark spots appearing in your central vision. Because there are different stages of AMD, early, intermediate, and late, identifying symptoms in the early stage can be tricky, and most symptoms are identifiable in the intermediate and late stages. There is no cure for AMD, but treatments are available to slow the progression of symptoms. While AMD has environmental factors that cause it, there are genetic factors at play as well. Knowing your family’s health history can allow you to make lifestyle changes to prioritize your eye health.
  • Diabetic Eye Disease- This is a group of diseases that can be a result of diabetes in older adults. From diabetic retinopathy to macular edema, these diseases can cause vision loss and discomfort. Some common symptoms are vision distortion, impaired color vision, and abnormal blood vessels in the eye. Management of diabetes can help reduce symptoms of diabetic eye disease. Many eye doctors will recommend more frequent visits to them to monitor any changes to your vision. 
  • Glaucoma- When left untreated, this eye disease is one of the leading causes of blindness in adults over 60. Glaucoma affects the optic nerve, which is vital to vision health. A build-up of pressure in the eye damages the optic nerve, thus beginning the process of vision loss. With over 200,000 cases in the U.S. each year, this is a very common, but serious eye condition. Much like AMD, this is treatable, not curable. From eye drops to medications, and even surgery, the treatments for glaucoma will help alleviate the pressure build-up in the eye.
  • Cataracts- This eye disease is when the lens of your eye develops cloudiness. This cloudiness results in blurred vision making it difficult to complete many normal tasks such as reading and driving. When left untreated, cataracts can lead to total blindness. This is a relatively common eye disease, especially in older adults. Surgery is possible and involves removing the lens with cataracts from the eye and replacing it with an artificial one. Eye doctors will suggest surgery when cataracts diminish your quality of life, and up until that point, they will prescribe prescription glasses to mitigate the vision issues. 

How often should seniors go to the eye doctor?

Experts recommend that seniors visit their eye doctor every 1-2 years. Because many of these eye diseases listed above have symptoms that include eye discomfort and blurry vision, it’s also important to make an appointment with your ophthalmologist at the earliest sign of any of any vision problems. These changes to vision could be as simple as needing a new prescription for glasses or be indicative of needing more testing to confirm a diagnosis. 

Seniors that need prescription eyewear should maintain an annual cadence with their eye doctor to ensure their prescription is as current as possible. Updating your eyeglasses when there is an adjustment to the prescription allows you to notice any changes to eyesight early on. 

Changes to your eyesight, whether big or small, can affect many aspects of your life. Your doctor will help you create a routine that will promote the health of your eyes. Knowing how to make healthy changes to your lifestyle and how they can impact your sight will help keep you feeling self-sufficient. Some ways to put your eye health first are: 

  • Create an eye-healthy diet- As you age, your dietary needs change. Improving your diet and including foods that support vision health is a great step to putting your eyes first. Including vegetables that promote eye health like carrots, leafy greens, and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help delay the onset of vision loss.
  • Understand your family health history- Your family health history is a great tool to use when developing healthy habits for the sake of your wellness and well-being. Utilizing a DNA testing service can help you determine if there is a history of eye disease in your family line. From there, you can create a regime with your eye doctor to combat the onset. Determining a diet, adding some eye supplements to your daily routine, and even doing some eye exercises along with your regular fitness routine can all aid in the health of your eyes. 

Being informed and creating a lifestyle to support healthy eyes will ensure the protection of one of your greatest assets. Your eyesight plays a huge role in your quality of life, so taking the proper precautions will guarantee comfort, protection, and happiness.  

For more information on senior living communities and the benefits they offer older adults, download our Senior Living Options guide today! Or contact us today to schedule a tour.

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