Close eye on care of seniors' vision


Recognising that a number of Barbadian seniors have impaired vision due to a number of conditions affecting the eyes, efforts are being made to treat to them to help improve the quality of their lives.
Minister of Health John Boyce acknowledged the above recently, as he and his Ministry endorsed the recently launched “Queen Elizabeth Hospital Eye Surgical Theatre- (QUEST)” philanthropic initiative, which is aiming to raise much needed capital to roll out a fully equipped Ophthalmic Theatre Suite and recovery rooms by March 2017, in the QEH’s Ophthalmology Department.
“Vision impairment due to eye conditions such as glaucoma is common among our seniors. With our rapidly aging population, it is important that we help our seniors therefore detect any decline in vision as early as possible, so that they can continue to lead independent and active lives,” Boyce stressed.
“This will also help to reduce the risk of falls for which poor vision is a key cause and we know how many of our elderly deteriorate so quickly after that fall, at say age 80, age 85. We know the story, it has been told many, many times in families all over our island,” he added.
Boyce meanwhile issued an apology on a whole, to the many patients waiting in line to have various eye procedures done at the QEH. He however noted that the QUEST initiative will help to advance the roll out of the new Ophthalmic Theatre Suite and hence aid in clearing the backlog and also reducing future wait times for eye procedures.
“I was heartened to hear Dr. (Trevor) Drakes (Head of the Ophthalmology Department) refer to the many, many procedures that are done in Ophthalmology at the QEH annually. I happen to know, because we examine the records. There are still not enough and we have a significant backlog of persons who need to have attention and we apologise to those members of the public who are waiting, but I’ve learnt that it is not as simple as … meets the eye. It is a little more challenging than that and sometimes it’s good to be instructed by those who experience it,” he commented.
Noting that he fully understands the precautions doctors and nurses have to take as they make their interventions, he meanwhile thanked them for their efforts so far in assisting as many patients as possible. (RSM)

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