Residents’ Perspectives on Living With Vision Impairment in Long-term Care: An Unseen Factor in Quality of Life and Appropriateness of Care01/01/2016
Few qualitative studies have explored the day-to-day experiences of people with vision impairment living in assisted living. Long-term care residents with vision impairment are more likely to have problems with ADLs, like dressing and feeding themselves, and increased rates of depression, social isolation, and falls. To better understand how visual health may impact care and quality of life in long-term care, this qualitative study used semi-structured interviews to consider the direct experiences of vision impairment among residents of an assisted living facility within a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in the United States (N=13). Results indicate that vision impairment may be an ‘unseen’ and often overlooked experience among institutionalized elders that is critical for appropriate care and improving quality of life. Residents’ reported impact of vision impairment on daily life and their reported coping strategies are discussed, yielding implications for adaptations of individuals, caregivers, and long-term care institutions and staff.