Vision loss is a serious problem in Canada especially among older adults. The goals of my research program are to understand the impact of eye disease on the mobility and health of older patients and to develop interventions to help cope with vision loss occurring late in life. Over the next 4 years, the majority of my time will be spent on three projects. First, I am examining the 2-year mobility and health changes of older adults with eye disease.
My team has collected data from 458 patients at Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont. Our findings will guide the development of interventions to improve mobility and health in patients with eye disease. In my second project, I will examine whether self-care tools can decrease depression rates in people with eye disease. Although antidepressant medications and psychological therapies are effective methods of treating depression, many older people prefer not to take medications and access to psychological therapies remains limited. Depression self-care interventions typically include learning new ways of thinking and problem solving. Finally, I will conduct a 5-year project to understand why people with eye disease have worse cognitive function and will determine if it is due to a reduction in cognitively stimulating leisure activities.
This research will help to guide the development of an intervention to prevent cognitive decline that is appropriate for people with vision loss. My research program will provide knowledge and tools to lessen the burden of losing sight.